Buying new fighter jets for six billion francs is “an unnecessary luxury”, said the committee on Friday “No to billions for fighter jets”. According to him, it will result in cuts in education and social security.
For the committee, the purchase of new planes – submitted to the Swiss people on September 27 – is a false promise of security. The scenario of an air war in Europe is unrealistic. “We want an army which is with the times and which does not equip itself for the wars of yesterday”, launched Friday the national councilor Marionna Schlatter (Verts / ZH) during a press conference.
The real threats are the climate crisis, cyber risks or dangers such as pandemics. Planes do not help cope with these dangers.
Ecological disaster denounced
In addition, they are highly harmful to the environment, further believes the committee. In one hour of flight, an F / A-18 consumes 4,850 liters of kerosene, or 12,220 kg of CO2 or 120,000 tonnes per year.
The impact on the environment is comparable to the transport of 230 passengers by a twin-jet airliner for an hour or to the emissions generated by a car over 100,000 kilometers, i.e. 2.5 times around the planet.
A “blank check” for the army
For the committee, this purchase is a blank check. On the day of the vote, voters will not know the number, type of planes, or the concrete costs of this purchase.
In 2014, the people refused to buy the Gripen for 3.1 billion francs. Today, the Federal Council wants to spend 6 billion for new jets. If we take into account all the costs over the lifespan of the aircraft, the bill amounts to 24 billion francs. The acquisition would be two to three times more expensive than that of the Gripen.
Money to invest better
The billions wasted on the purchase of new planes should be better invested in the fight against global warming or the shortage of electricity, still believes the committee. The money could be invested in solar panels and would make it possible to cross the energy turning point.
In the opinion of opponents, this purchase will have dramatic consequences in other areas, such as education, health, public or social security or even culture.
ats / oang