Navigation

Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Political interview ‘Defeatism’ is destabilising state, warns Swiss minister

Swiss cabinet minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf attended the recent celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first Matterhorn mountain ascent

(Keystone)

The increasing lack of compromise in Swiss politics and criticism of political institutions is having a damaging effect on the system, warns Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. 

In an interview in the Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday, the minister said politicians’ need to constantly push through a specific political position goes against the present system of concordance in the seven-member cabinet. 

“People forget the fact that black or white [positions] do not work in our system,” the 59-year-old member of the centre-right Conservative Democratic Party told the paper, adding that she maintains faith in the current system. 

Switzerland's cabinet has seven members. Each year, a different member becomes president. Typically the four main parties are represented in the government. On October 18 voters will elect a new Swiss parliament for a statutory four-year term. These will be followed by a cabinet election in December. 

Political discussions, according to Widmer-Schlumpf, are constantly ending up in “permanent defeatism”and denigrating remarks about institutions are having a “destabilising effect”. 

"We must do something against this constant questioning of the cornerstones of our states,” she said. 

The Graubünden politician added that recent political comments on asylum were pure electioneering. 

“The state of law, which was so respected in the past, is today no longer taken seriously,” she declared. 

The cabinet minister refused to be drawn on whether she will again stand for re-election in December’s election.

Widmer-Schlumpf accepted a place in the cabinet in 2007 as a centre-right Conservative Democrat. At that time, the conservative right Swiss People’s Party insisted that she give up her new seat, which she had taken from controversial People's Party Justice Minister Christoph Blocher. She served as justice minister for three years and has been the finance minister since autumn 2010.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

×