European Affairs

Brienzersee. Photo/Foto: TES.

Congratulations and Chapeau Switzerland

The lake of Brienz (Brienzersee) prepares itself for the first of August, 2019, apparently inspired by “The cradle of the confederation”, mural in the Great Hall of the Swiss parliament, by Charles Giron (1859-1914), 1901. Giron has the Rütli in mind, the meadow at Lake Urner (Urnersee), a part of Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee). According to tradition, the first three Eidgenossen from Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden confirmed their agreemment of mutual assistance in various areas by an oath (Eid). Whether it is a fact or a legend is irrelevant, as are the legends of Romulus/Remus and Athena as founding fathers/mother of Rome and Athens. During this medieval period, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, similar treaties were often concluded between cities and communes all over Europe. What makes Switzerland unique is that this first alliance and its successors have survived for centuries and have been extended with 13 cantons in 1501 and 22 cantons in 1815.

Switzerland is a bottom-up nation, created in a complicated process of centuries. The country has four languages (many more dialects), cultures and various religions. It is by far Europe’s best functioning democracy (including its shortcomings), with the world’s most innovative and competitive industry, the best European university, the best infrastructure in often extremely difficult circumstances, it is one of the most hospitable countries for asylum seekers (no less than 25 000-30 000 (per year) have been admitted the past decade) and knows a relatively successful integration. The country  is a global exporter with an open and cosmopolitan mentality for business and (other) cultures (highly regarded scholars and the many museums are witnesses, among others the world’s first ethnographic museums). The Swiss National Bank is known for its solid monetary policy (as is shown by the break with the (illegal) monetary mismanagement of the ECB) and, above all, Switzerland is a criticaster of the present European Union.

Hopefully, its citizens, and especially politicians and journalists, will cherish what has been built up over the centuries and not follow the false prophets of European brotherhood, solidarity and federation. What is transferred to the EU will never be returned, even if the EU does not keep its promises and agreements and does not realise its (megalomaniacal) ambitions. The EU is not a democracy, and the conditions are not present, the majority of its members are malfunctioning democracies,  bankrupt, corrupt, kleptocracies, with mass unemployment, huge debts, declining industries, out-of-date education systems and, above all, no involvement of citizens in supporting their communities. Millions of desperate (young) citizens of EU and/or Euro-countries emigrate to other countries.  Approximately 200 000 French citizens work in Switzerland, compared to a few thousand Swiss in France.The EU and the ECB are in fact the illegal (c.q. criminal) cash machine maintaining these structures and obstructing substantial reforms. The (economic, democratic, moral and social) bill will come, rather sooner than later.

The hallmark of Switzerland, its citizens and business are precisely the opposite, that of involvement, innovation, competitiveness and democracy. From Riom or Scuol in the canton of Grisons to Môtier or La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel, citizens, culture and businesses are creating (local) initiatives and (business) projects. In which other country attend thousands of citizens summer courses (i.e. not regular courses) in Italian, French, German or Romanish languages to understand one of the other languages of their country?

Switzerland is the real European Union, but it also indicates the limits of what is feasible. This EU is based on an obsession, a lack of self-reflection, dogmatism and, above all, intolerance, bureaucracy, and is, in fact, a subsidy project that has got out of control. Take back Control is a rather appropriate definition of those who oppose this EU. Politicians, journalists and civil servants have put their careers, prestige and (political) capital in this project, however, and do not tolerate other views (let alone substantial reforms) than theirs. Immer vorwärts Kameraden. The German newspaper Die Welt published an article (27 July 2019) about members of the European Parliament. On the background one can read “Kommt, wir bauen das neue Europa”, Join us, we built the new Europe. It is the language of a sect and not that far from the ideology of communism: to create a new Europe and new and ´good’ Europeans. Eurocomunism with a human face, for the time being, although the present intimidation and blackmail of Switserland show the real face of this EU.

Hopefully, there will be no black mourning clouds above the Brienzersee over ten years. Switzerland, look after your case and your beautiful country, democracy and society.