Switzerland’s economy is generally well-insulated from the crisis in the Eurozone that surrounds the Alpine country. The social crisis is another matter entirely, however, and there’s no guarantee that violent unrest outside of Switzerland won’t spread across the border. When mobs of desperate people see their salvation in the milk and honey of Switzerland — what then?
Hermes has translated a couple of pieces on the topic from German-language news sites. First, from Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten:
The Swiss Army is looking ahead to a dramatic escalation of the situation in the EU countries affected by the crisis, one that will impact the security of Switzerland. This is what Schweizer Zeitung Sonntag reported. The basis for this: because of multiple money-saving measures, the armies of the Southern European countries will weaken, and, as a consequence, the modernization of the army in the neighboring countries will be left aside. This will cause a weakening of the armies, and the European states will be easily extorted. The Swiss defense minister Ueli Maurer declared to Schweizer Zeitung Sonntag after a conference that “I do not rule out that in the coming years we will need the army”.
The defense agency VBS has the same opinion as Maurer. The Euro-crisis increases the potential for violence. Massive unemployment and the radicalization of the population are growing threats in Spain, Greece and Italy.
Due to the fact that there are fears in Switzerland about the spreading of unrest into its territory, the army is being equipped: 100,000 soldiers, 5 billion for military spending, and Gripen fight jets are planned for the defense of the Swiss confederation. In order to counter potential unrest, demonstrations and masses of refugees from neighboring countries, the 2000 top (military) officers have already designed the maneuver “Stabilo Due”. This is Military commander André Blattmann’s plan to defend the borders of the four regions with four military police battalions and a total number of 1600 soldiers.
More from Effecten Spiegel:
Switzerland strengthens its borders
[Translator’s note: these are the first lines of an article published in the printed version of the Effecten Spiegel magazine. The online version publishes only these lines.]
Switzerland is predicting bloody unrest in Europe in coming years due to the Euro crisis. Because of fears that it may spread to their own country, and huge floods of refugees may arrive from Southern Europe, the authorities in Bern are arming their military forces and securing the borders in the four regions of the country. “I cannot rule out that in the coming years we will need the army”, Swiss defense minister Ueli Maurer declared to the Swiss press. Simulations for serious scenarios are already being carried out under the operational name “Stabilo Due”.
Effecten Spiegel already warned at the beginning of the crisis two years ago that the “burning Greek garbage containers” are only the beginning of a social conflagration. Nowadays, mass demonstrations and street clashes have become business as usual. In Spain, people have taken to the streets almost daily since May of last year demonstrating against European policies. The reform of the job market, the raising of the VAT, cuts in health care and education, payment cuts and rising unemployment steadily deepen the grim mood in the country. Pictures of looting rioters setting cars and garbage containers on fire and clouds of teargas and furious people arrive on a regular basis from Italy, Portugal and France…