Christoph Blocher: No turns to yes
SVP doyen and former Federal Councillor Christoph Blocher will receive a 1.1-million-franc pension. After being ousted from the Federal Council in 2007, the billionaire publicly declared that he would not draw his ministerial pension entitlement. But he made a U-turn in July 2020 by demanding a backdated pension worth 2.7 million. The government has now decided to pay him 1.1 million francs – and do everything in its power to prevent similar episodes in future.
Picture: SVP éminence grise and former Federal Councillor Christoph Blocher has made an art out of exerting political influence in the 13 years since being voted out of office. Photo: KEYSTONE-SDA
Serious allegations against Darius Rochebin
Star journalist Darius Rochebin featured in the last issue of “Swiss Review”. However, serious allegations were made against him shortly after we went to press. According to the newspaper “Le Temps”, employees at French-language Swiss broadcaster RTS have made sexual harassment complaints against a number of executives. One of those accused is Darius Rochebin. Gilles Marchand, director general of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and previously head of RTS until 2017, admitted mistakes and called for an urgent investigation. We await further details.
The CVP remove their Christian label
The Christian Democratic People’s Party (CVP) are ditching the “C”, having decided in November that their new name will be “The Centre” from 2021 onwards. They say that removing the adjective “Christian” from their name will make it easier to appeal to urban voters in the middle of the political spectrum. The CVP, whose conservative and Catholic origins date back to the 19th century, have been represented in the Federal Council since 1891.
The BDP merge with the CVP
In future, Swiss politics will have one party less. The Conservative Democratic Party (BDP), founded in 2008, will also be part of “The Centre”. That is to say, it is merging with the CVP. Both parties have stood shoulder to shoulder at federal level in recent years. The CVP are strongest in Catholic areas of the country, while the BDP performs best in the cantons of Berne and Grisons.
“Marriage for all” becomes a reality
Switzerland has paved the way for same-sex marriage. In December, the Council of States ratified the National Council’s decision to allow same-sex couples to tie the knot. Lesbian couples wanting to start a family will also be able to receive sperm donations.