Letters to the editor

Fair and balanced, please

Dear Editor, why do I feel that Swiss Review tends to provide fairly liberal “reportage”, when it should be informing us Swiss Abroad of the ongoing political affairs within Switzerland in a fair and balanced way? There has not been one issue of “Swiss Review” that has looked at conservative ideology even in a rudimentary way. Most of the countries surrounding Switzerland have a liberal or socialist form of government. Could it be that the average Swiss leans more to the right than the left in their political thinking and that for that reason the country has long been a haven of stability and prosperity? I ask you to consider that when Switzerland’s political views are commented on by “Swiss Review” it is done with fairness and balance.

Hansjörg Frick, Canada

Who do the politicians think about?

In your editorial “No interest in the people” you hit the nail right on the head. That is exactly how I see the political scene in Switzerland. There are so many important issues to address. But, like everywhere in the world, politicians think firstly of themselves, then of their parties, then of the major companies and industry and then maybe – but really only maybe – of the ordinary people who go to work day after day, clean the streets, dispose of refuse and drive people to work, etc. That is the reality of the situation we currently live in. But the politicians are playing with fire. Perhaps one day the cleaners, refuse collectors, drivers and workers will say enough is enough. What will happen then?

Felix Roshardt, Gmunden, Austria

Keep up the good work

A big thank-you for the latest edition of “Swiss Review”, which is an extremely interesting read. While your work is certainly not always easy in light of the questions and topics that have to be addressed, I was nonetheless highly impressed by the latest issue. Keep up the good work.

Adrian K. H. Kessler, Penang, Malaysia

Equal rights for everyone

The Swiss remain citizens of the confederation even when living abroad. It is therefore right that the Swiss Abroad should be represented in Parliament. It is inconceivable for ten percent of the Swiss population not to be granted equal rights by the government.

Mauro Mattioli, France

Am I dreaming?

Dear Madam, Reading your article makes me think I must be dreaming! Have you really considered the problems experienced by those living in the EU? The loss of civil liberties owing to the submission of states to European directives, the abandonment of sovereignty and an economic slump. I live in France and will not go into the problems associated with migration. I can only say that voting no longer makes much sense. The party system distorts everything it seeks to organise. While you do not like direct democracy much, it is nevertheless the people’s weapon. If the Swiss people think wrongly, you and your party friends believe they have to be changed. Continuing to call this democracy is illogical to say the least.

Véronique D’Acorsi-Decaillet, France

I would like to see better representation

I am a Swiss citizen abroad and work in the UK. I do not belong to a political party, I vote regularly and keep myself informed about Swiss affairs. I actually believe I have a much better understanding of what is going on than many of my compatriots living in Switzerland! Switzerland is not an island, but despite lying at the heart of Europe it still appears very isolated and short-sighted to me. I appreciate that Swiss Abroad in Thailand have different concerns to those living in Uruguay, in the UK or wherever else. Policy on Europe and that beyond Europe differ greatly. By way of example, Swiss Abroad in the EU can no longer pay voluntary old-age and survivors’ insurance (AHV) contributions from the age of 30 – they are forced to have gaps in their AHV cover – whereas outside of the EU people can continue to make voluntary contributions. This results in heavily reduced pensions for Swiss Abroad in the EU. I therefore strongly believe there is a need for the Swiss living in the EU to be represented in Parliament. It is very common nowadays for young people to spend a few years working in the EU. I would be pleased to see their and my interests and rights better represented in Parliament.

Claudia Stuss, England

20 % in Switzerland without the right to vote

If we consider democracy in Switzerland, the most important thing for starters is that all permanent residents of Switzerland have the right to participate in determining what happens in the country. Unfortunately, over 20% of Switzerland’s permanent resident population is excluded from political participation because they do not possess, for whatever reason, a little red booklet. This is now a much more serious issue than that of the Swiss Abroad deserving representation in Parliament. I would hope that we as Swiss Abroad would like to see an end to this infringement of the political rights of residents (which some of us almost certainly experience ourselves in our adopted countries). I believe campaigning on this issue to be even more important.

Andreas Bürki, Berlin

Urgently needed

Having an authority to deal with the concerns of the Swiss Abroad and to also represent them in Parliament is an absolute necessity. In his 1 August address in Thailand, Federal Councillor Berset emphasised how important the Swiss Abroad are to Switzerland and what a contribution they make on behalf of Switzerland. But this raises the question of what Switzerland does for the Swiss Abroad. In any event, parliamentary representation to take up and seriously represent the issues of the Swiss Abroad is urgently needed.

Herbert Stäheli, Pattaya, Thailand

Comments (6)
  1. Gerber François J.R. Gerber François J.R. at 22.05.2015
    Nous les 700000 Suisses de l'Etranger 1 dixième de la population actuelle, malgré les gentils messages de la confédération et le bon vouloir de L'ASO, nous nous sentons un peu oubliés. Swisscommunity.org est la meilleure initiative à ce jour mais combien de compatriotes exilés ne pourrons jamais s'offrir le luxe de petites vacances en Suisse ceux qui n'ont plus de famille directe, où peuvent t'il aller,et se retrouver, transports, hôtels, restaurants, tout est si cher dans leur patrie d'origine.
    Autrefois, il y avait un "Auslandschweizerhome" maintenant il n'y a plus rien. Faux! j'oubliais que nous avons une place à nous à Brunnen pour ceux qui ne le savent pas.!!!
    1. Arye Ophir Arye Ophir at 24.05.2015
      Werte europaeische Kulturkollegen!

      Wie wir aus Medienberichte mitbekommen hat die europaeische Kulturzivilisation einiges an Kopfschmerzen mit dem Massenandrang aus Afrika. Ich hab so den Eindruck, dass die europaeischen Politleader noch weit davon entfernt sind den Schluessel zu diesem Labyrint gefunden zu haben. Das Integrationsgerede - so gut die Absicht auch gemeint - hat keine wirkliche Verwirklichungsbasis. In Europa sollte man sich erst mal bewusst werden, dass die anstroemenden Massen im Individualbetreff so gut wie keine Integrationsgedanken in ihrem Entschluss zur Auswanderung beinhalen. Alles was dem dortigen  Individuum als Ausloeser zu Grunde liegt ist - absolut verstaendlich - dass ES weg will irgendwohin nach Neuland als das was ihr Leben IST und nicht als das was es sein sollte nach europaeischem Integrationsbegriff.
      Entsprechend waren Voelkerwanderungen immer eine Einwanderung ohne mentale Ruecksicht auf den "Gastgeber". Ergo: wer keine Loesung fuer die Masse im Ganzen hat, hat auch keine auf der individuellen Integrationsebene - insbesondere wo es in Mitteleuropa kein unbesetztes "Neuland" gibt fuer kulturell und technisch nach eurem Begriff integrationsunqualivizierte Volksmassen. Eure in Watte gepackte Intellekuelle   muesste erst mal verstehen dass Europa heut in erster Linie immer mehr und mehr ein demographisch bedingtes Kulturproblem  hat das nicht nach Europakultur bedingtem Sozialmasstab geloest werden kann. Kann sie das ohne ihre schoengeistige "Sandkastenideologie" zu Gunsten echter massiver "Feldarbeit" abzuIegen, ohne Verkruemelung ihrer hehren kulturgeistigen Prinzipienidentitaet? Wahrscheinlich nicht bevor die Angst vor Schmerz an die eigene Tuere klopft und alles was ihnen "heilig" zur nur Relativitaet werden wird.
  2. MRS MRG KUHNIS MRS MRG KUHNIS at 31.05.2015
    As a Swiss by marriage since 1975 given to me by my father in law who was the Maire of Oberriet at the time,I am totally disgusted at the way that the female football players are being treated at the moment!
    I was always told by my family that Switzerland stood for fairness and equality! So what happened in the interim: did the Swiss forget their loyalties or have they gone back to the Middle Ages?
    It is really sad for me as a person involve in sport through my work both as a nurse and as a
    health adviser for many years to read about this sad affair.
    Please give these girls their dues and above all RESPECT their sportsmanship!
    A fan of women's football and all women's sports!
    Thank you!
  3. Jan Favre Jan Favre at 07.06.2015
    Sehr geehrten Herren,
    Ich war in Mai 2015 mit meiner zehnjährigen Tochter auf die Postfinanz und auf die Migrosbank in Basel, um einen Jugendsparkonto unter ihren Namen zu eröffnen. Beide Banken haben sich verweigert, mein Gesuch anzunehmen, weil meine Tochter in Thailand wohnt und nicht in einer Schweizer Gemeinde registriert sei. Auf meiner Bemerkung, dass meine Tochter Schweizerin sei, erwiderten beide, es mache keinen Unterschied. Hätten sie eine Liste von Banken, die nicht Auslandschweizern feindlich gesinnt sind?
    Ich danke ihnen bestens für ihre Auskunft,
    Jan Favre
  4. Constance Devanthery-Lewis Constance Devanthery-Lewis at 11.06.2015
    Dear Swiss Review,
    I am a Swiss citizen by marriage, living in the US. When I saw the headline about the Swiss National Women's soccer team I was pleased--after all, the team is playing in the World Cup for the first time. But the article was an example of how biased "journalism" helps to keep women's sports from getting the respect they deserve. While purporting to provide information about why the team doesn't get the funding and recognition to thrive, the writer repeatedly reinforces stereotypes and uses a patronizing tone throughout. She apparently supports the idea that women wear nail polish on the field to make a better impression!
    I am amazed this article made it through your editorial review. Swiss female athletes deserve our admiration and support, not our condescension.
  5. JEAN-MICHEL SANCEY JEAN-MICHEL SANCEY at 23.06.2015
    LA PEUR N'A JAMAIS éTé DE BON CONSEIL. PAR PEUR NOUS AVONS ACCEPTé :
    LE DIKTAT ECONOMIQUE DS AMERICAINS ENVERS LES BANQUES SUISSES,
    PAR PEUR NOUS REVALORISONS NOTRE FRANC SUISSE ET LAISSONS
    PERDRE UN 30% DES VALEURS INVESTIES EN €URO. MAISONS, BUISNESS ETC ETC.
    PAR PEUR NOUS FAISONS FUIR NOTRE FIDèLE CLIENTèLE
    DE L'U.E. POUR FAIRE ENTRER UN TOURISME BON MARCHé QUI N'APPORTE PAS GRAND CHOSE à NOTRE ECONOMIE.
    TOUT Cela IL FAUT AVALER ET SE TAIRE DES DéCISIONS IRRESPONSABLES PRISES PAR UN FONCTIONNARIAT ENVAHISSANT.
    NOUS FORMONS EN SUISSE QUE DES FONCTIONNAIRES, UN PEU OUI TROP NON.
    A BON ENTENDEUR....

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