Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Fat cat opponent named European of the Year

Minder brought out the boxing gloves to make a point about his fat cat initiative in a debate last year Keystone

Thomas Minder, the parliamentarian and entrepreneur behind the so-called “fat cat initiative” against excessive executive salaries, has been chosen as European of the Year for 2014 by Reader’s Digest Magazine.

In March 2013, Swiss voters approved Minder’s initiative, which lets shareholders weigh in on how much company executives are paid. Specifically, shareholders get a binding vote on remuneration and a greater say on who sits on boards. The initiative also bans certain bonuses given on joining and leaving a company.



Fuelled by public ire, alone against the world

This content was published on Described by friends and opponents as resolute and at times abusive, Minder describes himself as stubborn and dogged. The 52-year-old head of a small family business in Schaffhausen in north-eastern Switzerland, has been a member of the Senate since 2011. Now he’s the topic of conversation at every table in the land. He irritates the…

Read more: Fuelled by public ire, alone against the world

With his proposal, Minder achieved the third-best result of any initiative in Switzerland, not only winning approval in urban and rural areas but also in all 26 cantons.

Reader’s Digest, the largest paid-circulation magazine in the world, has often chosen lesser-known personalities for its European of the Year award. For example, human rights activist Iana Matei was chosen in 2010 and Swiss doctor Ruedi Lüthy received the honour in 2007 for his work fighting AIDS in Zimbabwe.

The article naming Minder European of the Year will be published in the February European edition of the magazine.

Most Read
Swiss Abroad

Most Discussed

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR