The SRG’s Corona survey clearly shows that measures against the spread of the virus are still supported by a large majority. At the same time, there is growing pressure on the Federal Council to relax the measures – also from the parties. Today the CVP also presented its ideas on how the Federal Council should proceed. Domestic editor Iwan Santoro explains how the parties want to start Switzerland again.
SRF domestic editor
Santoro has been with Radio SRF since 2013 and is now in the domestic editorial team.
SRF News: How does the CVP imagine the next steps?
Iwan Santoro: CVP President Gerhard Pfister was very magistral in the choice of words and emphasis at the video conference. He says that Switzerland should return to normal as quickly as possible and as slowly as necessary. This would not be decided by the parties, but the Federal Council, supported by experts. But the CVP also requires the government to provide open and transparent information about possible exit scenarios – after Easter.
The CVP’s demands in detail
The CVP makes demands in a three-stage principle. As a first priority, the Federal Council should also provide financial support for day-care centers – the Federal Council as a whole has so far rejected a corresponding proposal from Federal Councilor Berset. Corona tests should also be used across the board as quickly as possible. In a second step, the party requests a freeze on premiums. After the crisis, the pandemic plan is to be improved and a sustainable economy sought. For example, Switzerland should become more independent again when it comes to medicines. Together with the pharmaceutical industry, future security of supply is to be guaranteed.
How does the CVP differ in its demands from other parties?
It is much more moderate than SVP and FDP. FDP exponents such as party president Petra Gössi or state councilor Andrea Caroni imagine a kind of Austrian model of how Switzerland should find itself out of a state of emergency. The SVP in turn wants stores to reopen from April 20. Here the CVP still trusts the Federal Council.
The CVP takes a similar position to the SP when it comes to supporting daycare centers and a health insurance premium freeze. However, this calls for a billion-dollar economic and investment program after the Corona crisis. The CVP does not want to know about this.
The measures taken by the Federal Council
1. Public life is shut down
Meetings with more than five people in public spaces are prohibited. Keep a distance of at least two meters from other people. The police can impose a fine if they do not comply.
Public and private events remain prohibited. Everything except pharmacies and grocery stores remains closed. Retailers limit the number of customers.
To better protect employees, employers are also required to prevent over five people from gathering.
2. Army and civil defense are deployed
Up to 8,000 members of the army for health care, logistics and security: The Federal Council assumes that the need for civilian authorities to receive support from the army will increase significantly in the coming days and weeks. It therefore decided to provide the cantons with a quota of 850,000 working days.
In order to meet the requests of the cantons, the Federal Council raised the upper limit for the assistance service from 800 to 8,000 members of the army. This applies until the end of June 2020.
The Swiss Army cancels its repeat courses by the end of June. Those who are used to support the health system or to support the civil authorities, for example at the borders, are excluded. The cancellation could save resources and logistics, but also the Swiss economy, it said.
3. Limitations on the borders
Entry restrictions apply to Italy, France, Germany and Austria as well as from all non-Schengen countries. The Federal Council suspends the issuing of Schengen visas and national visas for nationals of third countries for three months.
The SVP today demanded that the Federal Council no longer speak money without the parliament – that is, no more aid under emergency law. Is that an attack on your own Federal Council, on Finance Minister Ueli Maurer?
You could say so exaggerated. The SVP is behind the aid package of CHF 62 billion for the economy that Maurer cobbled together. But that’s enough, they say. There is no urgency either, said SVP National Councilor Alfred Heer. If more money needs to be made loose, it is Parliament’s turn again. The SVP once again requested that the lockdown be ended. The hospital capacities were sufficient. You have enough reserves.
The Federal Council will meet on Wednesday. The call for easing is getting louder. What to expect
Everyone expects the Federal Council to show what will happen next. So how and when Switzerland should start up again. But I’m not so sure whether the Federal Council will let the cat out of the bag before Easter. Minister of Health Berset has given the date of April 16 each week. Until then, you will communicate how to proceed – that would be on Thursday after Easter. It would also be psychologically awkward to tell people before the weather-appropriate Easter holidays when you plan to go up the country.
The interview was conducted by Roger Brändlin.