The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Left party calls for investigation into liquidity problems in the army

Opponents and critics of the army want to initiate comprehensive investigations after the army's liquidity problems became known. The Swiss Officers' Association, on the other hand, is calling for more funds for Switzerland's defense capability as quickly as possible.

The gradual increase in the army budget from the current 0.7 percent to 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, which was approved by Parliament in 2022, must be implemented, the Officers' Association wrote in a press release on Thursday. The Federal Council had extended the increase in the army budget to 2035, and the councils approved the procedure in December.

For the Officers' Association, this is "irresponsible". As a result of the budget cuts, the strengthening of the defense capability will be delayed until the 2040s. The army will have to renegotiate its procurement planning every year in the coming years due to a lack of liquidity.

"A catastrophe"

In a press release, the Group for a Switzerland without an Army (Gsoa) called for "a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the army's finances". The situation is deeply unsatisfactory and must have political consequences.

According to the Gsoa, not only the financial shortfall but also the army's communication is "a disaster". The fact that there is a problem with transparency is shown by the fact that the extent of the army's financial difficulties was initially concealed.

The SP intends to comment on the issue in detail on Friday. It described the events after they became known as a "financial debacle in the army worth billions". The SP will show what investigations are needed, where further financial risks are to be expected and what this means for future budgets and the debt brake.

Viola Amherd, the Federal Councillor responsible, declined to comment on Thursday. When asked, her Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) stated that the head of the army, Thomas Süssli, would comment.

©Keystone/SDA

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