The World Economic Forum (WEF), an exclusive gathering of wealthy folks dropping in on private jets is viewed by many as out of touch with the key challenges currently faced by the global population. Swiss critics of the event are angered that an event closed to the public is provided with publicly funded security, reported 20 Minutes.
The forum, which starts on Monday 16 January 2023, requires significant security personnel to protect the international dignitaires in attendance. Around 5,000 military staff are said to be required to secure the event.
Critics argue that public money should not be spent on a private event. In addition they claim the event breaches Switzerland’s neutrality because attendees from Russia have been banned.
However, the federal government defends the public funding of security for the private event. More than 200 heads of state will be at the event. Under international law these people enjoy a duty of protection, it said. In addition, the event is in Switzerland’s interest. It represents an opportunity for Switzerland to present its concerns and positions to foreign partners.
The public cost of securing the event has also fallen from CHF 3.375 to CHF 2.25 million, noted the government, with WEF picking up CHF 3.375 instead of CHF 2.25 million of the cost. And to a large extent the military personnel in attendance will spend time standing guard at the event instead of further compulsory military training, a cost that is already included in Switzerland’s military budget.