Pessimism among Swiss citizens about the country’s future has increased dramatically because of the turbulent international situation. As a result, the feeling of security has declined slightly according to the latest survey by the Zurich-based Federal Institute of Technology.
“The assessment of the global situation has reached a new low,” said the authors of the survey, carried out jointly by the institute’s Military Academy and the Center for Security Studies.
The rate of optimism dropped to 25% - down 20% from last year.
Tibor Szvircsev Tresch, the project leader of the survey, said the conflict in Ukraine, the refugee crisis in Europe and fears of terrorist attacks contributed to the result.
In its report, the researchers found that that confidence in the Swiss authorities and institutions, notably the government and the armed forces, has increased significantly and is exceptionally high – an average of 6.6 points on a scale of one to ten.
The survey also found a reduced interest among the Swiss in closer foreign policy relations, while the percentage of the population coming out in favour of Switzerland joining the European Union or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remains small.
“Swiss neutrality remains untouchable and the principle of neutrality currently enjoys almost unanimous support,” Thomas Ferst told a news conference on Friday.
The survey was conducted among 1,211 citizens in all the country’s different language regions in January. The centre and the military academy have been carrying out similar studies since 1993.
Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch