Lone campaigner counts on online support

An initiative has been launched aimed at outlawing investments abroad by the Swiss National Bank (SNB).

This content was published on January 20, 2011 minutes

A former banker argues the SNB ran up a multi-billion franc deficit and debts because it spent part of its assets outside the country.

“We have to go to the root of the problem,” Marc Meyer told a news conference on Thursday.

Meyer says he plans to collect the necessary signatures – at least 100,000 in 18 months – online and hopes to be invited to explain his cause in public. He is also counting on indirect promotion through his presence in the media.

“The internet can be used to collect and hand in the signatures,” he said.

Meyer also launched two other initiatives – calling for tightening regulations on the deployment of army commandos and for stronger shareholder rights in pension funds.

The 56-year-old says he has a committee of about 30 supporters and is acting as an independent citizen without the backing of a political party.

Nearly 380 people’s initiatives have been launched in the history of modern-day Switzerland since 1893, but 80 of them failed to collect enough signatures, while others were withdrawn or declared null and void.

At the moment campaigns are underway for 20 initiatives.

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