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New popular initiative against the manufacturers of war material

The Group for Switzerland without an Army (GSoA) unanimously resolved to launch a popular initiative “against the financing of war material manufacturers” at its annual general meeting at the beginning of April. The Swiss Social Democratic Party (SP) adopted a resolution at its meeting of delegates to help with the collection of signatures for the initiative. The GSoA – together with the Young Greens – hopes to prevent the Swiss National Bank and the pension funds from investing in the weapons industry. The GSoA’s last attempt to curb trade in war material through an initiative was an unsuccessful one in 2009.

Old banknotes retain their value

Old Swiss banknotes are to be exchanged at their value without any expiry date in future. In agreement with the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the Federal Council is proposing the lifting of the current exchange deadline. The aim is to prevent people holding banknotes which suddenly lose their value. Potential victims are heirs to assets which include banknotes that can no longer be exchanged. Foreign workers who return to their country of origin and keep old series of banknotes can also be affected.

Federal Council pledge on e-voting

In a fundamental decision, the Federal Council declared its support for creating the basis for comprehensive e-voting in Switzerland. Electronic voting is to become established as the third voting channel and given equal status to the postal vote and ballot box within a few years. However, the Federal Council does not want to oblige the cantons to introduce e-voting for the time being. A specially appointed expert group is now working on drawing up the consultation draft on e-voting. Parliament is likely to begin its deliberations next year.