Historically neutral, Switzerland holds referendum to approve fighter purchases
Voters vote on Sunday (27) billionaire proposal to form a new squadron of war planes
Switzerland last fought in a war more than 200 years ago and has no foreign enemies, but the government plans to spend 6 billion Swiss francs (R $ 35.8 billion) on the acquisition of new fighter planes.
The decision, however, will be up to the population. Next Sunday (27), voters will vote in a referendum to approve – or not – the funding.
If it receives public endorsement, the government must decide between four war aircraft models: Airbus’s Eurofighter, Dassault’s Rafale, Boeing’s F / A-18 Super Hornet, or F35-A Lightning II, from Lockheed Martin.
The chosen fighters are expected to replace the Swiss flight of 30 F / A-18 Hornets planes, which are considered to be old and will go out of service in 2030.
Many are opposed to the idea, saying that Switzerland cannot afford or need state-of-the-art warplanes to defend alpine territory that a supersonic jet can cross in 10 minutes.
“Who is our enemy? Who is attacking a small, neutral country, surrounded by NATO [Western military alliance]? ”Asks parliamentarian Priska Seiler Graf, a member of the left Social Democratic Party. “It is really absurd.”
For her, the models considered are “expensive toys”, and the country could opt for cheaper aircraft, such as the M346, by the Italian company Leonardo.
“We need new aircraft, this is not disputed, but it would be enough to buy lighter and simpler aircraft,” says Graf. “It would be better to have a Fiat than a Maserati.”
Read more in Folha de S. Paulo
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