finance

Swiss voters to decide on pesticides ban, terrorism law and COVID-19 aid


3/3

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A poster demanding: “Destroy Swiss Agriculture? Radical plant protection & drinkwater initiatives – 2 x No” is placed in front of a field near Aesch, Switzerland June 1 2021. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

2/3

By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland heads to the polls on Sunday in a batch of referendums which could see the country become only the second in the world to ban artificial pesticides.

Laws to combat terrorism, cut CO2 emissions and provide emergency COVID-19 funding also face binding votes under the Swiss system of direct democracy.

One initiative aims to prohibit the use of artificial pesticides within 10 years. Globally only Bhutan bans the chemicals.

Supporters say products made by agrochemical giants such as Switzerland’s Syngenta and Germany’s Bayer (DE:) and BASF endanger health and the environment.

“It’s vital that we stop the use of pesticides which are causing serious health problems for people today and storing up problems for the future,” said Antoinette Gilson, a co-author of the Pesticides Initiative.

Manufacturers say their pesticides are rigorously tested and regulated, and crop yields would slump without them.

Many farmers say a ban would boost food prices, cost jobs and increase food imports.

Voters also decide on a separate Drinking Water initiative, which says artificial pesticides are polluting Switzerland’s water. It wants to redirect subsidies to farmers who do without them.

In an unusually heated campaign, supporters got death threats, while farmers complained they feel under siege from city dwellers who don’t understand their way of life.

See also  Gordon Brown: I didn't think I'd see child poverty again in my lifetime

If approved, the proposals would amend the constitution while the government drafts implementation laws for parliament to address.

Voters will decide on a new law which aims to further cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions via measures like increasing the surcharge on car fuel and putting a levy on flight tickets.

Opponents say the law will increase business costs and not help the environment as the country is responsible for only 0.1% of global carbon emissions.

A law giving police new powers to fight terrorism faces a vote. The legislation makes it easier for police to monitor and restrict the movement of potential offenders, with restraining orders and travel bans possible for suspects as young as 12.

The government says the measures will prevent terrorist attacks, but opponents say they risk harming children and exposing people to torture abroad.

A temporary COVID-19 law, which opponents say did not have enough public consultation before its introduction last year, needs voter endorsement.

The law allocates 35 billion Swiss francs ($39 billion) to support short-time working schemes; hard-hit industries like restaurants and hotels; and culture, sport and media.

($1 0.8968 Swiss francs)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

See also  Coronavirus: EU and AstraZeneca seek to resolve vaccine supply crisis

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more