On 30 September 2021, Switzerland’s parliament voted to release a CHF 1.3 billion payment to the EU with no strings attached, reported RTS.
The parliamentary voting result of 131 to 55 in favour with 1 abstention, which followed an intense two-hour debate, allows the payment to be made.
The vote follows a vote on the same subject in the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, that came out 30 to 9 votes in favour. The Federal Council was also behind it.
The hope is that the payment will open the way to improved relations with the EU.
However, some such as Roger Köppel (UDC/SVP) said that giving in now is a sign of weakness. If you give money to a blackmailer, more blackmail will soon follow, he said.
Others, such as Sibel Arslan (Green), said that a broken relationship with our most important neighbour and trading partner paralyses us. Both sides made mistakes, but Switzerland made the final mistake by breaking off negotiations without a plan B, she said