Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Rütli speeches

Defence policy marks Guisan memorial event

Defence Minister Ueli Maurer has called for a strong army to defend Switzerland’s independence and freedom. He appealed to parliament to grant enough funds to maintain a credible force.

In a speech to commemorate a historic address on the Rütli meadow by Switzerland’s army commander 75 years ago, Maurer praised General Henri Guisan as a key figure to prepare the militia army and the population for his defence strategy during the Second World War.

In a similar vein, the head of the association of Swiss army officers, Denis Froidevaux, criticised opponents trying to reduce the army budget and troop numbers.

Saturday’s memorial event in central Switzerland was attended by more than 400 politicians, representatives of the armed forces and members of the Guisan family.

Parliament and government are at loggerheads over the reform of the armed forces and their funding. Conservatives want an annual budget of at least CHF5 billion ($5.2 billion) and at least 100,000 troops.

In 1940, the head of the Swiss armed forces, General Guisan, assembled senior officers at the Rütli meadow on Lake Lucerne to explain the defence strategy and resistance against a possible invasion by Nazi Germany and its allies.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.