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March 4 vote: official stances ‘No Billag’ initiative has many opponents, few supporters

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Demonstranten vor dem Bundeshaus

Over a thousand opponents of the "No Billag" initiative gathered at the parliament square on January 31

(Keystone)

The No Billag initiative, which seeks to abolish the licence fee used to finance public radio and television, is supported by a relatively small number of parties and organisations. The main official supporters include the Swiss People’s Party and the Federation of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises. Most other parties and organisations advocate rejecting the initiative.

Pro No-Billag
(swissinfo.ch)

Political parties in favour

 Swiss People’s Party

 It is the only party in government that supports "No Billag". Its members have been clear in their support for the initiative.

 Young People’s Party, Young Radicals

 The youth sections of the Swiss People’s Party and the Radical Party were among the earliest supporters of the initiative. 

Organisations in favour

Federation of Small- and Medium-sized Entreprises

 The umbrella organisation of small and medium enterprises supports the initiative and expressed this decision by a two-thirds majority. 

Initiative Committee

 At the heart of the initiative are young Swiss people who call themselves "libertarians". The initiative committee has only a few elected politicians.

Contra No-Billag
(swissinfo.ch)

Federal Council and Parliament

Both the government and both houses of parliament reject the initiative. 

Political parties against the initiative

Social Democratic Party

The party’s leadership unanimously voted to reject the initiative.

 Radical Party

The delegates voted in favour of the rejecting the initiative.

Christian Democratic Party

Party members clearly said no to the initiative. 

Green Party

The Greens rejected the initiative at their general assembly.

Conservative Democratic Party

The vast majority of members voted against the initiative.

Liberal Green Party

Here again, members mostly voted no at the party’s general assembly. 

Organisations against the initiative

Conference of Cantonal Governments

The governments of the various Swiss cantons are opposed to the initiative. 

Economiesuisse

The umbrella organisation of Swiss companies rejects the initiative. 

Organisation of the Swiss Abroad

The OSA, which represents the interests of around 770,000 Swiss nationals abroad, rejects the initiative. 

Tourist Organisations

The Swiss Tourism Federation, which includes Hotelleriesuisse, Gastrosuisse and the Swiss Cable Car Associationexternal link, rejects the initiative. 

Swiss Farmers' Association

The management of the Union has decided to reject the initiative. 

Association of Swiss Municipalities

They unanimously reject the initiative. 

Association of Swiss Cities

Here too, the association unanimously requests that the initiative be rejected. 

Swiss folk culture

This organisationexternal link, which represents 33 associations with more than 400,000 active, rejects the initiative. 

Senior citizens 

A number of pensioners' organisations voted against "No Billag", including the Swiss Association of Seniorsexternal link and the Federation of Swiss Pensioners' and Welfare Associationsexternal link.

 Religious Communities 

The Federation of Protestant Churches and the Catholic Conference of Bishops reject this initiative. 

Unions

Trade union groups, in particular the Swiss Trade Union Federationexternal link and Travail Suisse, recommend rejecting the initiative. 

Mountain regions

The Consortium of Swiss Alpine Regionsexternal link is opposed to the initiative, which would cut many jobs and reduce the media coverage in these regions. 

Disabled people

The NGO Pro Infirmis recommends rejecting the initiative.

swissinfo.ch is part of the Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR. Half of its budget is financed by the licence fee and half by the government.

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