• Sweden's news in English
 

Swiss voters to sink Swedish jet fighter deal

Published: 12 Apr 2014 08:22 GMT+02:00

The survey by the gfs.bern polling institute showed that 52 percent of voters opposed the plan, while 42 percent were in favour. With just six percent of voters still to make up their minds, a turnaround by supporters of the fighter purchase appeared unlikely, the polling institute said. 

Approved by the government in 2011 and backed by parliament last September, the fighter deal cannot be blocked as such in the May 18 referendum.

But opponents have been able to contest legislation that allowed the purchase to be funded by tapping an annual 300 million Swiss francs (€246 million, $342 million) from the neutral country's military budget over 10 years.

The Swiss defence ministry has said that in the event the people reject the financing legislation, the decision will be respected, and that there is no back-up funding plan.

Switzerland opted for Saab's Gripen jets over the Rafale made by French company Dassault and the Eurofighter of pan-European firm EADS.

Supporters underline that in exchange for the sale, Saab and its engine supplier are contractually bound to sign business deals with Swiss firms worth 2.5 billion francs over the next decade.

Opponents dismiss that, and say that the 3.1-billion-franc price tag for the jets could end up tripling because of operating and maintenance costs as well as future upgrades.

The anti-deal coalition is steered by the left-leaning Socialists and Greens, plus anti-militarists who last year lost in a referendum in which voters bucked a European trend and kept their conscript army.

The Gripen's adversaries also include economic liberals opposed to the price.

Referendums form the cornerstone of Switzerland's system of direct democracy, and the campaigners forced a plebiscite by mustering more than 65,000 signatures from voters.

The Gripens are meant to replace Switzerland's three-decade-old fleet of 54 F-5 Tigers, built by US group Northrop.

The Swiss air force also has 32 F/A 18 Super Hornets built by US company McDonnell Douglas, purchased in 1996.

The military notes that with a combined fleet of 54 Gripens and Super Hornets, Switzerland's fleet would lag far behind the 300 jets in service in the early 1990s.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden to crack down on silly police reports
A police spokesman told The Local they receive many complaints from people who lose their car keys. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX

Sweden to crack down on silly police reports

The Swedish government announced on Thursday that is is going to launch an investigation into valuable police time being wasted by officers forced to deal with unnecessary reports and complaints. READ  

Booming exports boost for Sweden's economy
The Swedish economy is growing. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Booming exports boost for Sweden's economy

Figures showing a surprise financial growth spurt in the second quarter of the year have been hailed as proof that Sweden's economy is on the road to recovery. READ  

Swedes' viral plea finds sender of bottle message
A close-up of the letter Herman Andreas Brunbäck Larsen enclosed in the bottle in 2004. Photo: Sara Hoffman

Swedes' viral plea finds sender of bottle message

A Swedish family has told The Local how they tracked down the sender of a mystery message in a bottle when their Facebook appeal went viral – 11 years after the letter was thrown into the sea by a Norwegian boy. READ  

Why buy a house when there's a Swedish island?
The island is situated between Nacka and Lidingö in Stockholm. Photo: Eldh

Why buy a house when there's a Swedish island?

Ever dreamed of owning your very own Swedish island? This gem in the heart of the Stockholm archipelago could be yours. If you have 65 million kronor ($7.5 million) to spare, that is. READ  

Swedish terror suspect released from custody
Lawyer Lars Salkola at Gothenburg District Court on Friday. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Swedish terror suspect released from custody

UPDATED: A man detained by a Gothenburg court on suspicion of committing murder in Syria has been released from custody pending an ongoing investigation. READ  

Swedish thieves use mobile app to rob man
Swedish app Swish allows users to transfer money in real time using mobile technology. Photo: TT

Swedish thieves use mobile app to rob man

In cashless Sweden even robbers have had to change their methods, with thieves on the island of Gotland resorting to the popular money transfer app Swish to extort money from their victim. READ  

Gothenburg rocked by 'fairly big' earthquake
An earthquake hit the Gothenburg area on Wednesday evening. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Gothenburg rocked by 'fairly big' earthquake

A rare earthquake shook the Gothenburg area in western Sweden on Wednesday evening. READ  

Child's toy bow and arrow spark police alert
A Stockholm police car. File photo: TT

Child's toy bow and arrow spark police alert

After a summer of violence the southern Swedish town of Malmö is on edge, so much so that a full-scale police operation was launched for what turned out to be a child playing with a toy gun and a bow and arrow. READ  

What's on in Sweden
Five fun festivals to get you partying in Sweden
The Medieval Week on Gotland. Photo: Marie-Anne Björkman/Medeltidsveckan

Five fun festivals to get you partying in Sweden

Sweden is gearing up for a number of great festivals this week. Check out our favourite five picks as well as a handy interactive guide to all of Sweden's best events. READ  

Heavy rail travel delays expected across Sweden
Train delays are expected on Thursday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/SCANPIX

Heavy rail travel delays expected across Sweden

UPDATED: Commuters or summer tourists experiencing Sweden by rail are set for travel chaos on Thursday as delays are expected in several parts of the Nordic country. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
How a century-old Russian sub wreck got Sweden into a frenzy
Gallery
People-watching: July 29th
National
How to become a Swedish woman
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Lifestyle
New snaps of Sweden's baby prince
Blog updates

24 July

Editor’s blog, July 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, Our most read story this week was our tongue-in-cheek guide on how to become a..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian submarines?
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
National
Why has Snoop Dogg said he will never return to Sweden?
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
IN PICTURES: July summer snaps
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
National
Prince Nicolas enjoys first summer
National
Meet the amazing Swedish granny who loves theme parks
National
Stockholm to host Eurovision 2016
Travel
Five quirky summer tours in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,292
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se