Swiss-based financial entities – for example the Swiss National Bank, pension schemes and foundations – should stop investing in companies that produce war materiel. This is the demand of a people’s initiative, signed by almost 130,000 people, which was handed into the Federal Chancellery on Thursday.
A total of 104,902 had been confirmed as valid, said the Group for a Switzerland Without an Army (GSoA), the Young Green Party and the Association for a Ban on Arms Dealing. People’s initiatives must be signed by at least 100,000 citizens within an 18-month period in order to be considered for a vote at the national level.
The campaigners say they intend to put an end to Switzerland’s role in financing international weapons manufacturers. At the end of 2017, the Swiss National Bank alone held shares worth almost CHF2 billion ($2 billion) in US nuclear weapon manufacturers, they said in a statementexternal link on Thursday.
“Our pension money is financing weapons which are being used in the illegal war in Yemen,” said Muriel Waeger from the GSoA.
The general public don’t approve of this “warmongering with our money”, added Maja Haus from the Young Green Party Switzerland.