European Affairs

Gotthardbasistunnel. Photo/Foto: Pechristener/Wikipedia.


Since 1990, Switzerland has made efforts to ensure the development of the European transport system and the integration of the European high-speed rail network through the construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel (Gotthardbasistunnel).

The Gotthard tunnel is an important construction on the European corridor Rotterdam-Milan-Genoa. The new freight line from Rotterdam to the Dutch-German border is another relevant construction. However, Germany and Italy fail to build the promised projects.

The opening of the Gotthard Tunnel (1 June 2016) has not only a practical European meaning but is also of symbolic value.

The 15 kilometers Ceneri base tunnel in Italy and the connection between Karlsruhe and Basel are lacking,. The extension of the so-called Betuwe line in the Netherlands to Germany shares the same fate because Germany is protecting the port of Hamburg.

The Gotthard Tunnel is also an important event for the European Union. A small country in the middle of Europe has completed this project without corruption, without EU-money, and a year ahead of schedule.

Making a tunnel through the Gotthard, a mountain range of granite is not a problem for Switzerland, but EU countries and the EU with their usual pacta non sunt servanda cannot be overcome.

Switzerland does not want to join the EU anymore and withdrew the application for EU membership in June 2016. Facts are decisive for this democracy and not the paper on which agreements are written.

Any agreement with the EU is worth as much as the paper on which it is written (euro, Frontex, external border control, ‘Dublin’, states aid, Nordstream et cetera).

The absence of the (five) “European Presidents” (“no time”) at the opening and festivities on 1 June tells something about these eurocrats. In a referendum in 1992 (64%) of the Swiss voters said a clear ‘yes’ to this project, and there was clear political legitimacy.

At the end of the Cold War in 1989, Switzerland also looked to the EU. There was not much choice in 1990 and the EU was only dedicated to its core business, until the overambitious Maastricht Treaty.

In 1992, the citizens (50,3 %) voted against membership of the EU. The establishment respected this result.

Many former Jasager are grateful for the 50.3% Neinsager nowadays, In 2001, almost 77% voted against this EU and more than 80-85% of citizens are likely to vote against membership in 2020. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

This EU is not compatible with Swiss (direct) democracy, its innovative, competitive economic and monetary model, self-respect and the social system.

The EU does not want and cannot reform. The elites in EU-countries and the eurocrats fear the voice of the people. In Switzerland, they protect the elite from madness, the delusion of the day and opportunism.

The abolition of borders without adequate control mechanisms at the frontiers or the ill-fated, irresponsible and reckless euro will be disastrous for the EU in the end.

Ambitions, propaganda, (war) rhetoric and myths of European brotherhood, solidarity, and democracy are bad advisers in the long term. (Text and source: W. Koydl, Die Bessermacher, Zürich 2016).