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Swiss leaders shrug off referendum on F-35 deal

Samizdat | September 18, 2022

Swiss legislators have given final approval for the country’s controversial purchase of F-35 fighter jets from the US, ignoring a successful petition drive that was supposed to force a public vote on the issue.

Switzerland’s lower house National Council voted to approve the $6 billion deal with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin on Thursday. The upper house, the Council of States, had previously approved the purchase of 36 F-35s.

The Swiss government, which received voter approval in 2020 to modernize the country’s fleet of fighter jets at a cost of up to $6.3 billion, reached a preliminary agreement with Lockheed Martin last year after choosing the F-35 over France’s Rafale, Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and the multinational Eurofighter Typhoon.

Opponents have argued that although voters narrowly approved the fleet’s modernization, they didn’t agree to the F-35, which has been branded too expensive and not a good fit for militarily neutral Switzerland’s defense-focused air force.

Last month, the government confirmed that the “Stop F-35” opposition group had gathered the necessary 100,000 valid petition signatures to force a referendum.

The Swiss defense department argued that there wasn’t enough time to hold the vote before Lockheed Martin’s offer expired. The government has a March 2023 deadline to sign the contract or risk higher costs and a longer wait for the jets. Other countries, such as Germany, Finland and Canada, are queuing up to buy F-35s amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

September 18, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Switzerland May Build Radioactive Waste Storage Facility Near German Border

Samizdat – 11.09.2022

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE) has stated that an area of northern Switzerland near the border with Germany might be used for the construction of a nuclear waste storage facility.

The Swiss government has yet to approve a deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste, due to be located in the region of Nordlich Lagern, north of Zurich.

BFE spokeswoman Marianne Zuend told Reuters that the project was initiated by the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA), a company which plans to propose the Nordlich Lagern site on Monday.

“This is only an announcement of where they (Nagra) would like to build,” Zuend pointed out, adding that the BFE is overseeing the process.

She also said that “All the details will have to be elaborated now by NAGRA to be put into the official demand that they will submit in about two years’ time to the authorities.”

According to NAGRA, the proposal also has yet to get the green light from the Swiss parliament, with the government not expected to make a final decision on the site until 2029. The construction of the repository may only start in 2045.

AFP news agency, in turn, quoted NAGRA spokesman Felix Glauser as saying that they “chose Nordlich Lagern as the safest site for a deep geological repository.”

He referred to “extensive investigations” that he said “have shown that Nordlich Lagern is the most suitable site and has the largest safety reserves.”

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment has voiced concern regarding NAGRA’s plans, which were also slammed by Christian Kuhn, a member of the German parliament (Bundestag) from Baden-Wurttemberg.

He argued that the proximity of the planned nuclear waste storage site to Baden-Württemberg village in Hohentengen “poses a problem both during the construction phase and during the operation of the repository.”

Right now, there are four active nuclear power plants (NPPs) in Switzerland, which may reportedly continue their operation as long as their safety is guaranteed.

September 11, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | , | Leave a comment

Swiss People’s Party Says Anti-Russian Sanctions Violate Switzerland’s Constitution

Samizdat – August 3, 2022

The adoption of anti-Russian sanctions violates Switzerland’s Constitution, Swiss People’s Party, also known as Democratic Union of the Centre (UDC), stated on Wednesday.

“The introduction of sanctions violates the neutrality of the country, and, consequently, its Constitution. The Constitution stresses that Switzerland is neutral. We are against sanctions,” UDC press secretary Andrea Sommer said.

The statement was made shortly after the Swiss Federal Council announced that the seventh package of sanctions against Russia had been given a green light.

“… the Federal Council imposed further sanctions against Russia on 3 August in line with the EU’s latest sanctions on gold and gold products. The measures come into force at 6pm on 3 August,” the council said. The latest sanctions also include an asset freeze on Sberbank.

Last week, a Swiss bank also froze a personal account of Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Gennady Gatilov.

According to the Russian permanent mission to the UN office, the fact that Switzerland lost its neutrality did not only affect its political and economic relations with Russia but also daily life of diplomats in Geneva.

“The situation is also escalated by artificial obstacles in the daily life of our diplomatic mission. A number of banks, insurance and car maintenance companies, with which we had long-standing partnerships, decided to abandon the contracts they had with us, while openly saying the reason – because we are from Russia. Even the personal account in the local bank of the Russian permanent representative in Geneva, which was used, among other things, to cover medical expenses, was frozen,” the mission told Sputnik.

Switzerland has adopted seven packages of sanctions against Russia that include an embargo on Russian oil supplies, import of caviar, seafood, coal, timber and cement, among others. Switzerland prohibited support for Russian entities in public ownership and registration of trusts for Russian nationals or residents.

The sanctions were imposed in response to Russia’s special military operation to de-Nazify and demilitarize Ukraine and protect the Donbass population.

August 3, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Germany’s Energy Crisis About To Get Even Worse As Rhine Water Levels Plummet

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | July 18, 2022

What has already been a year from hell for Germany, which is suffering energy hyperinflation as a result of Europe’s sanctions on Russia, and which is “facing the biggest crisis the country has every had” according to the president of the German employers association, is about to get even worse as the declining water level of the Rhine river, which has historically been a key infrastructure transit artery across Germany, continues to fall and as it does, the flow of commodities to inland Europe is starting to buckle threatening to make an already historic crisis even worse.

The alarming lack of water is contributing to oil product supply problems in Switzerland and preventing at least two power plants in Germany from getting all the coal they need, and what’s more, the continent’s sizzling summer temperatures are forecast to climb even higher in the coming week, leading to even lower water levels.

The 800-mile (1,288-kilometer) Rhine river runs from Switzerland all the way to the North Sea and is used to transport tens of millions of tons of commodities through inland Europe. But with water levels at their lowest for the time of year in 15 years, there is a limit how much fuel, coal and other vital cargo that barges can carry up and down the river.

Low water levels on the Rhine River mean that barges hauling middle distillate-type oil products – typically gasoil/diesel – past Kaub in Germany, are limited to loading about 30% of capacity, according to maritime brokerage services firm Riverlake.

A barge loading in the energy hub of Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (or ARA), which can haul 2.5k tons when fully laden, is restricted to taking on about 800 tons if sailing to destinations beyond Kaub. The water level at Kaub has fallen in recent days and is at its lowest on a seasonal basis since at least 2007. According to Riverlake, further decreases in loading volumes for barges hauling middle distillates from ARA to inland destinations beyond Kaub are expected in coming days.

This – coupled with capacity issues on German railways – has meant that Switzerland is struggling with supplies of oil products, mainly diesel/heating oil, according to Avenergy Suisse, the landlocked country’s organization for fuel importers.

Low Rhine water level combined with capacity problems on German railways are the reasons, managing director Roland Bilang told Bloomberg, adding that supply problems mainly concern diesel/heating oil.

“It has happened from time to time in the past that temporarily not enough mineral oil products could be transported to Switzerland and therefore the compulsory stocks had to be tapped.” Biland recommends private households fill their heating oil tanks early.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that power plants at Mannheim and Karlsruhe in Germany, operated by Grosskraftwerk Mannheim and EnBW, have been struggling to source coal because of the shallow water – just as the country frets that Russia won’t restart flows on a key gas pipeline. The companies said their generation operations aren’t currently affected.

Because of the tight coal market and low Rhine levels making it hard to deliver the fuel, only 65% of Germany’s coal capacity will be available in coming months, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights analyst Sabrina Kernbichler. This is bad news for a country whose biggest energy utilities are starting to drain natgas reserves as a result of the halt in Nord Stream 1 shipments, jeopardising millions of Germans with freezing should the country fail to restock fully ahead of the winter.

Germany also imports oil products up the Rhine, including fuel and heating oil. There’s currently no shortage of gasoline or diesel in the country, according to Herbert Rabl, spokesman for Tankstellen-Interessenverband e.V., which represents fuel station leaseholders and owners in Germany.

Shell – which owns the Wesseling and Godorf refineries along the Rhine – is monitoring the situation, according to a spokesperson.

July 18, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Heavily armed police search Swiss doctor’s office after mask exemptions

Free West Media | June 12, 2022

Apparently the stance against doctors who work according to their Hippocratic oath and the medical code of ethics is being tightened internationally.

The enforcement of masks is an important goal in order to be able to continue the pandemic, as is known from internal protocols of the Israeli Ministry of Health or statements by the Austrian Director of Public Health. Masks have become a sign of submission while at the same time renouncing fundamental rights.

Even in Switzerland, which is known to be more liberal with the measures and had already lifted many random measures in mid-February, completely disproportionate action was taken against doctors. On social media, users likened the raid to how police would normally respond to a terror threat.

This is already happening in Germany, as the criminal judgment against Dr. Ronald Weikl showed. In Germany, such an act would be less surprising in view of the many house searches, even against judges who had issued “unwanted” judgements, also in connection with masks for children.

The regional court of Passau, Germany is expected to pass a verdict against the “mask doctor” Weikl for writing blank exemption certificates against the mask requirement.

“Whether it was a matter of issuing false health certificates, which is punishable under §278 of the German Criminal Code (StGB), as alleged by the prosecution, or only of medical certificates, for which §278 (StGB) does not apply at all,” noted the Children’s Health Defense Fund.

Weikl acted in the best interest of his patients, his lawyer explained and this should not have led to an indictment due to the lack of a criminal act on his part. The legal principle of nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege applies, which means that one cannot be punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law – showing concern for his patients and especially children.

The law in Switzerland expressly provides for exceptions to the mask requirement. However, some authorities and the public prosecutor’s offices obviously do not care. For months there has been a veritable witch hunt against doctors who are critical of the measures.

Like Weikl, the Bern psychiatrist Dr. medical Ruke Wyler had issued mask certificates for her patients. The practice of the psychiatrist, who had only fulfilled her medical duty, was stormed in a heavy and a completely disproportionate police operation.

The scientific network Aletheia reported on the raid on the doctor’s practice. Critical doctors who question Corona measures to protect their own patients are being addressed and sanctioned, both abroad and in Switzerland.

Under the supervision of armed police officers wearing bulletproof vests, her computer hard drive was confiscated and patient files were taken away. People who wanted to support the doctor were asked to leave the building under threat of violence.

The Aletheia network said they were extremely concerned about these developments. Doctors who had issued mask certificates for the benefit of their patients did so because, after a thorough study of the data, they had come to the conclusion that wearing masks would be of no benefit, would be only harmful, first and foremost for children.

The medical certificates issued by the doctor could in no way be deemed to be incorrect since there has been no examination by the police or the public prosecutor’s office; this is a matter for medical expertise and the professional code of conduct for physicians. Medical professionals are free from directives, especially from non-physicians.

The vast majority of Corona measures are based on the narrative of the epidemiologically relevant asymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which has long been refuted. This means that all non-pharmacological measures that go beyond hygiene and self-isolation for sick people (antisocial distancing, masks in public spaces, isolation, quarantine, contact tracing, school closures and curfews) are ineffective and harmful for asymptomatic people who were previously considered healthy.

June 12, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Israel likely behind 1981 bombings of German, Swiss engineering firms, expert claims

BY JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | INTELNEWS | JANUARY 5, 2022 

ISRAEL’S PRIMARY EXTERNAL INTELLIGENCE agency, the Mossad, was likely behind a series of mysterious bombings in 1981, which targeted German and Swiss engineering firms believed to be aiding the Pakistani nuclear program, according to new exposé by a leading Swiss newspaper. Several bomb attacks targeted a number of engineering firms in Switzerland and what was then West Germany in 1981. Alongside these attacks, there were threatening telephone calls that targeted West German and Swiss engineers.

A previously unknown militant group calling itself the Organization for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia took responsibility for these actions. Its members mailed a number of political manifestos to the German and Swiss press, and repeatedly issue proclamations via telephone in broken German or English, according to contemporary accounts. Interestingly, the Organization for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia has never been heard of since.

Now, however, one of Switzerland’s leading newspapers, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), claims in a new report that the violent actions against German and Swiss scientists and engineering firms were likely undertaken by the Israeli Mossad. In a leading article published on Saturday, the Swiss daily cited “new, previously unseen documents from archives” in Switzerland and the United States, which allegedly shed light on these mysterious attacks.

The report rests partly on the work of Swiss historian Adrian Hänni, who argues that Israeli intelligence was eager to prevent Pakistan from acquiring access to nuclear energy. The prospect of Pakistan becoming the first Muslim-majority nuclear state was viewed by Israel as an “existential threat”, according to Hänni. Additionally, the Mossad had credible information that senior officials in Islamabad worked closely with the Islamic Republic of Iran, one of Israel’s mortal regional enemies. These factors convinced the Israeli leadership of the time to authorize a covert operation against a number of European firms and scientists who were allegedly aiding Islamabad’s pursuit of a nuclear arsenal, according to the NZZ.

January 8, 2022 Posted by | Islamophobia, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington ‘hunts’ Russian citizens in third countries – Moscow

RT | December 19, 2021

Moscow has condemned the extradition of a Russian IT firm owner from Switzerland to the US. His lawyer said Washington wants to tie the man to alleged meddling by Moscow in the 2016 American presidential election.

The extradition of businessman Vladislav Klyushin is “another episode of Washington’s continuing ‘hunt’ for Russian nationals in third countries,” the Russian Embassy in Switzerland, told TASS on Sunday.

Spokesperson Vladimir Khokhlov said Moscow was “deeply disappointed” by the decision of a Swiss court to reject Klyushin’s appeal to block his extradition on Friday. The man was handed over to American police officers in Zurich on Saturday, who escorted him on a flight, according to Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice.

The software developed by Klyushin’s media monitoring and analytics company, M13, is used by Russian state agencies, including the federal government and Presidential Executive Office, according to the firm’s website. The businessman was detained by Swiss police in March during a family skiing trip, his lawyer, Oliver Ciric, told the media.

Swiss justice officials said the US accused Klyushin of insider trading that involved “tens of millions of dollars.”

Ciric believes the persecution of the businessman is politically motivated, and that he will face “inhuman and degrading treatment” when extradited to the US.

He told The Times in September that the charges of insider trading were being used as a pretext to transport Klyushin to the US. The lawyer said his client would likely be charged with heading an alleged Russian covert operation to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election and hack the server of the Democratic Party.

In the same interview, Ciric claimed that Klyushin had access to “certain security information” related to the Russian government, and rebuffed recruitment attempts by US and British intelligence agents in the past.

The lawyer said that Klyushin’s criminal case file has been sealed by a Massachusetts court, which is “quite unusual” for financial charges that are typically publicized by a US financial regulator.

US officials accused the Kremlin of seeking to influence the vote and hacking the server of the Democratic National Committee and an email account of John Podesta, who led Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Donald Trump. Russia consistently denied these allegations. Klyushin has denied any involvement in insider trading and hacking.

December 19, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Swiss Police Threaten to Stop Enforcing COVID-19 Rules

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | August 10, 2021

Police in Switzerland have threatened to stop enforcing COVID-19 rules over fears that the measures are disproportionately undermining the fundamental rights of citizens.

A group representing police officers in the Alpine country wrote a letter to the Swiss Federation of Police Officers (FSFP) warning of potential insubordination within the force over the enforcement of draconian laws.

“If the measures were to conflict with the general opinion of the population, disproportionately limiting their fundamental rights, many police officers would no longer be willing to apply them,” the group wrote in the letter.

While the letter was received favorably by lockdown skeptics, the FSFP attempted to dismiss it by claiming it only represented a small number of police officers.

Adrian Gaugler of the Conference of Cantonal Police Commanders went further, threatening the officers with sanctions if they refused to enforce the measures.

“An officer who refuses to enforce the law can be punished,” said Gaugler.

“Police refusing to enforce coronavirus measures is not unique to Switzerland,” writes Chris Tomlinson.

“Earlier this year, police in the Canadian province of Ontario rejected new powers given by the provincial government that would have allowed them to stop any motorist or pedestrian and demand to know where they live and why they were not at home.”

As we previously highlighted, after lockdown was imposed in Switzerland, calls to private investigators soared as a result of people wanting their neighbors investigated for making too much noise.

August 11, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , | 1 Comment

Switzerland: Jewish groups fail to get Hamas designated as ‘terrorist’ group

MEMO | June 3, 2021

A number of Jewish community groups in Switzerland have failed to have the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, designated as a “terrorist” organisation, Arabi 21 reported on Wednesday. The latest Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip has apparently reignited the debate in the European country about the movement’s status.

The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG) and the Platform of Liberal Jews in Switzerland (PLJS) said on 20 May that Hamas is “clearly extremist, terrorist and anti-Semitic.” According to Swissinfo.ch they added that it was unacceptable that “members of Hamas moved around freely, raised funds and conducted business in Switzerland.” The Israeli Embassy in Bern issued similar calls.

Switzerland is a neutral country, with no formal alliances with other states. It is for this reason that it is often used as a mediator in international disputes, and hosts negotiations. Swiss Radio reported that this is why it is not taking a stand on Hamas, as it may be asked to mediate between the Palestinian movement and Israel, for example. “As part of its policy which supports peace in the region, it is important to continue having dialogue with all sides, as well as to continue exerting efforts between Israel and the Palestinians or between the Palestinians themselves, Hamas and Fatah,” it said.

The EU regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation, and so has not played any mediation role. Switzerland is not a member of the bloc.

With Hamas now seen as the strongest Palestinian political party even outside its Gaza stronghold, Swissinfo.ch said that it is “questionable whether banning Hamas would achieve much.” It quoted Middle East expert Erich Gysling as telling Luzerner Zeitung: “Hamas is the winner on the Palestinian side. We have to maintain dialogue with them. Calling them terrorists would not work to anyone’s advantage.”

The Israeli offensive on Gaza killed at least 255 Palestinians, including 66 children, 40 women and 17 elderly people. Thousands more were wounded as homes and civilian infrastructure were destroyed by the eleven-day Israeli bombardment.

June 5, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Austrians protest government cooperation with Israel in cyber drills

By Homa Lezgee | Press TV | August 4, 2020

Vienna – Protesters in Vienna are demanding an immediate end to Austria’s military cooperation with the Israeli regime.

The slogan of protesters gathered outside the American embassy in Vienna is “No to Austrian subordination to US/Israeli interests.”

They say the Austrian government’s decision to involve its intelligence forces in cyber maneuvers with Israel is meant to serve the interests of the US and Israel despite concerns it could lead to mass surveillance of the Austrian population.

Not much is known about the maneuvers, reportedly involving the Israeli military, the German Armed Forces, and units from Austria and Switzerland, during which cyber attacks would be simulated and countered.

Protesters also condemned the Austrian government for refusing to vote against Israel’s recent illegal annexation plans.

Pro-Palestinian groups in Austria, such as the Palestine Solidarity Platform, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) have been facing increasing government restrictions amid allegations of promoting anti-Semitism, an accusation they say is being used to misrepresent their goal of opposing Israeli occupation and aggression.

August 4, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Switzerland at the Heart of a Far-Reaching Surveillance Network Facilitating the U.S.-Backed Operation Condor

By Ramona Wadi | Strategic Culture Foundation | February 24, 2020

The atrocities of Operation Condor – the U.S.-backed covert plan by Argentina, Chile, Brazil Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia to eliminate left-wing influence in Latin America – have been gradually revealed through declassified documents that detail the diplomatic maneuvering and state terror that left tens of thousands of people killed, tortured and disappeared.

Argentina is estimated to have the highest death toll with over 30,000 dictatorship opponents killed and disappeared. The Videla dictatorship in Argentina worked in close collaboration with Chile’s dictator Augusto Pinochet, who had ushered in a violent neoliberal experiment in Chile and a far reaching network of international surveillance to keep tabs on, and eliminate, any traces of organised resistance to the dictatorship that had the potential to form abroad.

U.S. intelligence was deeply involved in the propping of dictatorships in Latin America in particular after Chile’s Unidad Popular led by Salvador Allende triumphed at the polls. Declassified documents have shown that the U.S. knew about the tactics used by the Argentinian dictatorship – emulated after Chile’s practice of disappearing opponents into the ocean, packaged and thrown off helicopters provided by the U.S. In some cases, the death flights also served as a murder practice – some victims were thrown into the ocean drugged, yet still alive.

Recently, it has also been revealed that U.S. intelligence surveillance over the extent of human rights violations in Latin America was aided by Germany and Switzerland. A Swiss company, Crypto AG, was jointly owned by the U.S. and West Germany. The company was then acquired by the participating countries in Operation Condor and later incorporated into the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) technology.

News reports have revealed that the Swiss government was knowledgeable about the CIA operations conducted through Crypto AG, which makes the country complicit in the dealings of Operation Condor and sheds doubt about Switzerland’s purported political neutrality, a stance which has enabled it to embrace duplicity and serve both oppressor and the oppressed.

Eventually, the surveillance technology targeted over 100 countries. Swiss media have reported that along with Sweden, Israel and Britain, Switzerland was privy to the information compiled through the operation. The Swiss government has launched an investigation into the case and the company’s licence has been suspended.

Among the intelligence gathered by the U.S. through the surveillance programme was the plan for the assassination of Chilean diplomat and ambassador to the U.S. in the Allende era, Orlando Letelier, who was murdered by a car bomb in Washington in 1976. Michael Townley, a CIA agent who also worked for the Pinochet dictatorship’s National Intelligence Directorate (DINA) was responsible for placing the bomb underneath Letelier’s vehicle. The murder was directly ordered by Pinochet. Operation Silence, in which efforts were made to prevent judges from investigating dictatorship crimes in the 1990s, resulted in the murder of Townley’s DINA partner, Eugenio Berrios, a chemist tasked with producing sarin gas for the dictatorship. Berrios’s body was discovered, heavily mutilated, in Uruguay, thus eliminating the possibility of further evidence being given in the Letelier case.

The link between Chile and Argentina in terms of dictatorship cooperation to eliminate opponents resulted in the killing and disappearance of Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR) militants.

Revelations regarding Crypto AG will likely add to the level of U.S. complicity in Operation Condor, apart from other forms of political violence globally which were aided by the CIA. In Latin America, particularly given the current turbulence from coups, such as in the case of Bolivia, to popular mobilisation as we are seeing in Chile, the news regarding surveillance is likely to have an impact on both current happenings and in terms of the region’s collective memory.

February 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment