Claudio Grass: Switzerland’s Resistance to the European Union

In this article, Claudio Grass, Managing Director of Global Gold, analyzes the weak fundamentals of the European Union, and how Switzerland is opposing the idea of joining it. This article is based on an interview conduced by Wake Up Call Podcast, it highlights several key thoughts in a question/answer format.

Question: What reasons are politicians using to back up a EU membership?

We had a vote in Switzerland back in 1992 whether Switzerland should join European Union or not. Some 50% of the voters were against joining the European Union, and the rest was in favor. In Switzerland, the Sovereign are the people. We are the last remaining direct democracy left on the planet. When it comes to the other countries, I assume politicians lie them into the European Union, and of course, the Euro was, especially for the Sovereign nations, extremely attractive. That’s how they sold it. When the Euro was implemented finally, they lost a lot of money.

Politicians always come up with promises which they cannot keep. That’s how the European Union was formed. Interesting is France: they have so far profited the most from the European Union. Over the last few years, they have also dominated the Commissions. The Germans want to have a reunification with West Germany and East Germany. They were told this can happen as long as they join the Euro and the European Union.

I’m not a totalitarian guy. But telling the people basically there is a free lunch and that they can profit from joining the EU which, finally turned out differently, is a bunch of lies. It’s an acceleration of centralization, and therefore, as Lord Acton always said, power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is what we are witnessing when it comes to European Union.

Question: There’s been some historical relevant ideas to why the Swiss have rejected the centralization over the years. Can you talk a bit about why they’ve really resisted? They resisted joining the EU. Why did they join the UN? And a bit more about the Swiss people’s party and its connection to those issues.

The European Union also has been sold as a peace project. They were telling the people “We don’t want to have war again in Europe, so that’s why we have to unify everything under the same roof.”

Let’s go back to Switzerland. When you look into the history of Switzerland, we never had a king. We never had a president. Ron Paul said once “The most beautiful thing about Switzerland is that no one knows the name of the president of Switzerland.” The reason for that is that we have seven of those guys. We have a Federal Council consisting of seven members. We are a confederation.

Switzerland consists of 26 different states with four different languages. We have different religions already going back to the older centuries in the past. The whole approach in Switzerland was always bottom up and never top down.

This had a strong influence from the people, in combination with a policy dominated by neutrality. Even in Switzerland’s history, we were always fighting foreign dukes or the Habsburgians and so on. The Swiss just want to stay alone, to stay independent, not to pay taxes to foreign authorities and so on.

This is still part of the Swiss genes. When we joined the United Nations and even the International Monetary Fund, we did that not that long ago. The International Monetary Fund we joined them I think that was in 1992. At that time, it was also said if we join the IMF, we still can keep our gold, because every nation who joined the IMF basically had to sign a piece of paper saying that gold resource are not a monetary asset. The Swiss were signing up for the IMF by saying “Okay, we can keep our gold.”

Of course, over the years, that has changed. We were on the gold standard, for example, until the end of the ’90s. We had a Constitution, and a gold backing of 40%. And then in 2000, the government came up with the message that we have to modernize our constitution and that nothing is going to be changed. They pushed for a public vote. It was in a very short period of time. But they didn’t tell the people what’s in it exactly. They only modernized the Constitution, and then took out also that gold backing.

QUESTION: Switzerland has applied in the past to become an EU member. What is the status of that application? What is the current status of relations between Switzerland and EU members?

Switzerland never applied officially. At least, the people of Switzerland, they never supported officially that we become a member of the European Union. That has been done by our politicians. The Federal Council handed it in without informing the people.

We had now a public vote if you want to join the European Union. The last one has been a few years ago. Now, we have just had a poll. 84% of all the Swiss don’t want to join the European Union. When it comes to the people, we want to stay alone. We want to stay independent. Sovereignty is extremely important for the Swiss. They understand that only when we are a sovereign nation we can stay free.

The people in Switzerland are completely against EU. We want to have our own laws. But our politicians and the bureaucrats are all happy. They also want to join. They’re trying to adapt or take over laws. They’re also scaring the Swiss people. At the moment, for example, they’re selling the idea that “If you want to have these bilateral agreements and you want to have free trades, then we have to be part of that European Union.” That has been raised now in combination with the immigration poll we had one and a half years ago where the Swiss basically decided this. Immigration is still up to the Swiss. We decide ourselves who is allowed to come in or not, but we are not going to delegate that to the European Union.

Brussels is threatening now that this would have an impact on the bilateral agreements and so on, but that’s also the message our politicians are trying to convey, but it has nothing to do with the bilateral agreements, because we have a free trade agreement with the European Union which goes back to I think 1972.

It’s always the people’s perception, of course. Then you have the mass media, and you have the establishment which likes centralized power. But I’m sure that that’s what we have seen in the last elections. The Swiss realize what’s going on, and we also heard from end of the 90s for the first few years a trend towards more centralization, but this trend has now been broken, at least for the last four or five years.

The party that is called SVP, the strongest party in Switzerland, is now called a right-wing party, but basically their key message was “Stay free. Stay independent.” They became the strongest party over the last few years. This just shows the resistance of the Swiss against centralized government has been broken. Therefore, I’m positive that we move again more towards decentralization.

We can also see the same with popular votes. We try to get away with the government-owned TV channels, because every Swiss has to pay a fixed fee. Swiss are forced to pay a fixed fee, even if we are not watching the TV stations. The Swiss gathered a hundred thousand signatories, and this is going to be a public poll next year where the Swiss can decide if they want to sponsor or finance that government-sponsored media channels or not.

If we’re going to win that one, then basically, the propaganda engine in Switzerland is also coming down, which is another good sign in terms of freedom and independency.

QUESTION: You could make a pretty big argument that Trump and Sanders are part of the establishment. But there is kind of this growing movement against the establishment political parties. What do you think about that?

I believe it’s great that we have guys standing up against the establishment. We need more decentralization. More decentralization means more freedom and liberty, and more centralization means more totalitarianism.

At the end of the day, I’m always in favor of decentralization, even if they sometimes have a kind of national socialistic setup. I don’t like that at all, but when we look at what the establishment is doing, we are going towards World War III. If Hillary Clinton is going to be elected through one of these establishment guys, I think the trend is clear. They will just follow that trend.

With Trump – he gave all the frustrated guys, all the people without the voice – that’s the guys who are standing up behind Trump. I’m a European, so maybe it’s selfish, but I believe if Trump would be elected, I think then when it comes to foreign policy, maybe he would – he already said that he’s going to take down the NATO and less foreign intervention, that he wants to close deals with Putin and so on. I believe it’s always good to have more peace, especially in our region, because it will also help the migration crisis.

On the other side, of course, the threat with Trump is that he’s going to divide the United States and that hatred and so on is going to be spread. That might lead to racism clashes. I think that’s a potential outcome, but at least there is some movement, then we are not still stuck in the same trend.

Bernie Sanders – it’s amazing that you can be a Communist and run for presidency. America used to be the land of the free, and now it just shows how far you have gone in a way.

We have to shake it up. Don’t expect anything good from the top. The central banks will not change that policy. Politicians are not going to change anything. We have to change the mindset of the people. We have to make them start thinking again and coming up with their own thoughts. We should show them that we can respect and tolerate different opinions so that we can agree, basically, that we don’t agree, but we have to bring the people in that direction. Then we are much better off than we are today.

Watch the full interview:

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