Raw Materials: The Greens Face “Dirty Business”

Green delegates, meeting Saturday in Zug, demanded an end to “dirty business” in the raw materials trade. President Balthasar Glättli criticized the “free market ideology”. The party recommends two “yes” and one “no” on 25 September.

In the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Switzerland must strengthen its commitment, the Greens’ assembly of delegates demanded in a resolution. For this, a “foreign policy at the service of human rights and democracy” is needed.

At the same time, a new policy on energy, raw materials and foreign trade is needed, delegates demanded in another resolution. We must “finish the dirty business”.

Many autocratic rulers anchor their power through fossil fuels, environmentalists say. Fossil fuels, therefore, are not only harmful to the climate, but also make Switzerland dependent on states like Russia.

Trade with targeted Russians

Today, 80% of Russian raw materials are traded through Switzerland and 50% of the gas consumed in the country comes from Russia. Which is no coincidence given the erroneous policy followed for years by bourgeois parties with an aggressive fiscal strategy, denounced the Greens.

They demanded that Switzerland finally reorient its energy and raw materials policy, as well as its international economic and trade policy. Only reduced energy consumption and renewable energy can reduce dependency and end the funding of autocratic wars, the resolution says.

Trade in raw materials must be regulated and limited to transparency. The Greens also demanded a tax on war profits.

Criticism of faith in the market

Party chairman and national adviser Balthasar Glättli (ZH) criticized the “free market ideology”. The Federal Council also functions according to this ideology. It has to end.

Faced with the climate crisis and the threat of energy shortages, the market will not be up to par. It’s time to act, according to Mr. Glättli. It’s time to make decisions.

The market is a human achievement, not an end of history by divine right or a primitive state of nature, the Zurich man continued. Any market is shaped by political laws or regulations. It is this framework, and therefore politics, that decides whether the market makes the rich richer and the environment sicker.

For the National Councilor, solutions for the future must be guided by the ideal of giving the economy and society a fairer and more sustainable basis. Green proposals have been on the table for years and would have prevented the next energy crisis. But the bourgeois majority has consistently blocked the most ambitious steps of the ecological transition, he criticized.

Twice no, once yes

For the federal vote on September 25, the Greens recommend voting “no” to both parts of the AVS reform. According to them, reform should not be done behind women’s backs. For many – and in particular for women – pensions are too low and AVS does not fulfill its constitutional mandate to guarantee a minimum subsistence.

The Green Party, on the other hand, rejects the partial abolition of the withholding tax, because it would give carte blanche to tax crime and lead to a loss of 200 million francs in tax revenue per year. Municipalities and cantons still suffer from previous tax cuts, so the country cannot afford new tax breaks.

Finally, delegates agreed to endorse the intensive livestock initiative, “in the interests of animal welfare.” Production animals are still poorly protected. The end of industrial livestock farming is an important step towards sustainable agriculture that preserves natural resources.

German Deputy Chancellor and Minister of Economy and Climate Robert Habeck made a virtual appearance at the assembly. He congratulated former Greens Regula chairman Rytz, who resigned from the National Council.


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