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Thread: Swiss to Join the EU – NOT!

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    Switzerland Withdraws Application to Join the EU

    The upper house of the Swiss parliament on Wednesday voted to invalidate its 1992 application to join the European Union, backing an earlier decision by the lower house. The vote comes just a week before Britain decides whether to leave the EU in a referendum.

    Twenty-seven members of the upper house, the Council of States, voted to cancel Switzerland’s longstanding EU application, versus just 13 senators against. Two abstained.

    In the aftermath of the vote, Switzerland will give formal notice to the EU to consider its application withdrawn, the country’s foreign minister, Didier Burkhalter, was quoted as saying by Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

    The original motion was introduced by the conservative Swiss People’s Party MP, Lukas Reimann. It had already received overwhelming support from legislators in the lower house of parliament in March, with 126 National Council deputies voting in favor, and 46 against.

    Thomas Minder, counsellor for the state of Schaffhausen and an active promoter of the concept of “Swissness,” said he was eager to “close the topic fast and painlessly” as only “a few lunatics” may want to join the EU now, he told the newspaper.

    Hannes Germann, also representing Schaffhausen, highlighted the symbolic importance of the vote, comparing it to Iceland’s decision to drop its membership bid in 2015.

    “Iceland had the courage and withdrew the application for membership, so no volcano erupted,” he said, jokingly.

    Switzerland’s longstanding application to join the EU has not had a significant impact on the country’s politics for more than 20 years, as its accession negotiations have been suspended since 1992 in the wake of a referendum to join the European Economic Area, when the Swiss voted down the idea of closer ties with the EU.
    https://www.rt.com/news/346884-switz...tion-rejected/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Out of Germania View Post
    will they withdraw from the SIS database too?

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    Some good news coming out of Europe at last!

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    Norway, 70% oppose joining EU; Iceland, government had to shelve plans to join because of popular opposition; Switzerland, pollsters don't even bother asking about EU membership, and the federal government just withdrew the 1992 application.

    Whichever ranking of quality of life, wealth, health, etc. you look at, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland will be in the top 5. The Legatum Institute had Norway and Switzerland as the two most prosperous countries in the world, and the EIU said CH is the best country in the word to be born in.

    You'd think it's perfectly possible, better infact, to be an independent nation outside the EU.

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    Good news. I hope Serbia will do the same (it'd be very funny if they joined the Eurasian Economic Union instead).

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    I’ve seen Britain’s post-Brexit future – and it’s beautiful

    Before we vote Brexit I thought I’d pop over to Switzerland — courtesy of Die Weltwoche, the nearest local equivalent to The Spectator — to see how life will be once we escape the EU. Can confirm: it’s going to be great. We’ll be richer, freer and the views are fantastic: lakes and mountains so stupidly gorgeous that each time you look at them you think: ‘This is ridiculous. Nowhere could possibly be this ludicrously pretty.’ Then you go under a tunnel to the next valley where it’s just as lovely. It’s like gorging on a giant bar of hazelnut Lindt.

    And — in their understated Swiss way — they love us British. Partly it’s because we created their tourist industry, first by sending over the Shelleys, Byron and various Romantic painters to discover ‘the sublime’ and create Gothic horror, then by inventing winter sports and — thanks to Thomas Cook — devising the Swiss-based package tour.

    Partly it’s because we have so much in common. Robert Conquest once said that there are only two European democracies — Switzerland and Britain. Which may be why we both feel so unsuited to membership of the anti-democratic EU. This, certainly, is the view of elder statesman Christoph Blocher, the Swiss former MP largely credited with having kept Switzerland out of the EU. When we met at the Swiss federal parliament in the (almost unfeasibly pleasant) capital Berne he enumerated our similarities.

    ‘One, England has always had a very big sense of sovereignty — “we are Britain and we are doing this”. Two, freedom is very important to England. You have an older tradition than countries like Germany which didn’t exist before 1871 and has only been a democracy since 1945. And three, you are an island and Switzerland is an island too. We are an island without a sea.’

    Free-market, anti-immigration, anti-EU, Blocher has dragged Switzerland’s famously dull political system inexorably right. Few Swiss would admit how much they admire him in public — in the rural heartlands where his SVP has its power base, maybe, but definitely not in the liberal-left cities — like Nigel Farage, he is very much a Marmite figure.

    ‘There are only two groups — those who hate me and those who think I’m a hero. It doesn’t bother me. When you have a clear position it must be so,’ says Blocher, 75, a self-made billionaire whose personal hero is Winston Churchill. Though he lives in style in a lakeside mansion, his manner is warm and down-to-earth.

    His problem with the EU, he explains, is that its values are antithetical to the ‘three pillars’ that give Switzerland its comparative advantage — direct democracy, neutrality, and federalism. ‘The European Union is a bad construction. Twenty-eight states under the same rules? That cannot function. Not when there are countries like Italy which have another sense of the rules than we do. We like the Italians. But that is no reason for behaving like the Italians.’

    In 1992, he took on almost all of the Swiss political establishment — the federal and canton governments, the big economic forums, the unions — by campaigning to keep Switzerland out of the European Economic Area.

    Experts issued dire warnings on the consequences of rejecting this fantastic deal. One politician, anticipating Project Fear, said that if Switzerland didn’t seize the opportunity now — it was in the throes of a recession at the time — then in five years it would be begging to join ‘on its knees’.

    But the people voted against all the same (‘The Swiss don’t like being told there’s no alternative’) and since then Switzerland has prospered, as it did from day one. ‘The Monday after the Sunday, the Bourse rose,’ recalls with Blocher with modest satisfaction.

    One thing we’re often told by experts of various hues is that the Swiss option wouldn’t be open to Britain post-Brexit. ‘No,’ agrees Blocher. ‘You’d get a much better deal.’

    He doesn’t buy into the idea that in a fit of pique the EU would punish Britain with swingeing tariffs, because as a businessman he understands that that’s not how contracts work. They are based on mutual benefit.

    This is why he is sceptical of an unhappy outcome to the current clash between Switzerland and the EU. One quarter of Switzerland’s population are now immigrants. The Swiss have a much better record than most of absorbing them peacefully. (Incomers are spread out, rather than concentrated in urban ghettos, and strongly encouraged to learn the language and integrate as quickly as possible) Even so, the Swiss have had enough, which is why in a 2014 referendum they voted for limiting immigration through quotas.

    The European Commission grumbles that this ‘goes against the principle of free movement of people’. In practice, however, Blocher doubts this will affect Switzerland’s trade agreement with the EU — essentially because business is business. ‘I’m sure they will not end these contracts because they’re good for both sides, though more so for the EU.’ He notes for example that the Swiss are allowing EU members to use their Gotthard Tunnel at about one third of the market rate for the toll. Why would the EU wish to end deals which are manifestly to its advantage?

    Blocher is a canny man. He made his fortune in chemicals and went into politics, in the Roman manner, to serve his country, rather than for the money. And you do get the impression that he has a rather better idea how to run a successful enterprise than anyone in the European Commission — the former sociology lecturer from Sweden, say, currently in charge of trade. Take China: unlike the EU, Blocher has been doing business with it since 1980, when he opened the first of 117 factories there.

    ‘I think if you leave the EU it will be very good for you,’ he predicts. Well, if it makes us more like the Swiss, I’m game.
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/i...its-beautiful/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Widersinnig View Post
    Good news. I hope Serbia will do the same (it'd be very funny if they joined the Eurasian Economic Union instead).

    Not happening. The ruling party is fanatical about joining, even asking Germans and Americans whether they approve of the new cabinet (totally spineless). The whole thing with Russia and Eurasian union is trying to copy the dual politics of former SFRY, but still leaning to the EU (or in short, they have no idea what they are doing ).
    Also the popular support for the EU is high.
    Lieber tot als Sklave!

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    Swiss to Join the EU – NOT!

    Both USDCHF and EURCHF are up on the day by a very big 5%. This is mega volatility. The “book” and cash gains and losses are staggering. Some finance ministers are sighing relief over this. I look it at and just see extreme instability.

    No doubt but that the Swissie was overbought against all crosses. Some type of correction was in order. The Swiss National Bank has dumped a ton of liquidity (CHF 90B) on the market. This has pushed Swiss rates below zero. This distortion contributed to today’s reversal. But it was a story out of Zurich that Switzerland was contemplating joining the EU that was the real catalyst for the reversal. Some details.

    An SNB VP, Thomas Jordan, had this to say: (my translation and original text)

    The SNB may consider a temporary link to the Euro.

    Die Schweizerische Nationalbank (SNB) kann sich vorstellen den Franken vorübergehend an den Euro zu binden

    This was the sentence that got the markets roaring. The TV folks jumped on this “good news” story. But they left out the next sentence:

    A permanent connection of the franc to the euro, however, is not compatible with the laws of the Swiss constitution.

    Eine permanente Anbindung des Frankens an den Euro hält die SNB indes für mit ihrem Verfassungsauftrag nicht vereinbar.

    For Switzerland to join the EU and abandon the Franc as the national currency it would require a national referendum and a change of the constitution. It was 160 years ago in 1850 that Switzerland established the law that ensured they would be a global reserve currency. That decision has paid dividends to the Swiss damn near every year since. I see little prospect for such a major change anytime soon.

    A similar approach was defeated in 2001. At that time the Euro zone was thriving with the reduced inflation and expanded debt market that Euro intergration first brought. The Swiss didn’t want any part of the EU when things were good. It’s very unlikely they would want to sign up when things are falling apart. The Swiss would look at this as a bailout of Southern Europe. That is an extremely tough sell in Switzerland. It would take a year before there could be a vote on such an important change in the constitution.

    Shortly after the Zurich report a Paris based NYTs writer, ran with the story. The Times used the same misleading headline.

    This story had the same conclusion as everyone else:


    A (currency) peg would require changing the Swiss constitution, which has regulated the currency since 1850.


    Linking the franc to the euro could not happen overnight, and would face steep legal and political hurdles.

    A tangent on this story:

    I had the TV on this morning with the cheerleaders at CNBC on in the background. About 9:30 one of the regulars (Pisani?) reports on the Daily Mail’s gaff yesterday and apology today. The Mail ran a story suggesting that French banks were facing liquidity problems. They had to withdraw it today. CNBC’s comment was something about responsible journalism and market rumors. Like CNBC is above all of that.

    A few minutes later another (blonde) comes on and leads with the Times headline. She says nothing about the substance of the article. She spins it like this is a “good news” story and even throws out a fabrication she heard someplace that the conversion rate for the EURCHF peg would be at 1.15. With this, CNBC started a massive rumor that ended with one of the biggest movements in the CHF in history.

    At the time this lie was told the EURCHF was about 1.04. So CNBC was suggesting the Franc would fall by 10+%. That is a very big move. CNBC added to the panic trading. So much for that integrity thing…


    Now my take.

    First, I put the odds of a CHF peg at a very low level. I think this was the SNB's way of talking down the currency. They used the press to achieve their ends.

    Second, let’s consider what it might take to actually get the Swiss people to agree to abandon the Franc and embrace the Euro. It is also necessary to consider what key conditions the big core Euro countries would insist on as a condition for the Swiss joining their party.

    It just so happens that both conditions are the same. The EURCHF would have to be much lower than it is today. It would have to be below par. It would probably require a fixing at .90 CHF per Euro. That would imply that the Franc would have to APPRECIATE by as much as 20% before it would be acceptable to both the Swiss people and the politicians in Brussels.

    To get the Swiss to vote YES they would have to be bought. All Swiss have savings. A conversion to Euros at .90 would make them “Euro Rich”. While the Swiss may value their currency independence they also know their exchange rates and a big profit. At the “right” currency rate the vote could be bought.

    The French, Germans, Dutch and Italians would be reluctant to let a country into their midst that produces food and goods that would not be subject to tariffs. The French farmers would insist on a high conversion rate. German and Italian manufacturers want to keep Swiss producers at a competitive disadvantage. They too would want a high conversion rate.

    So everyone with a seat at the table wants a strong Franc (Swiss industry would squeal, but they don’t vote. The Swiss farmers would get rich).

    When CNBC threw out the fictitious rate of 1.15 it added gas to today’s market frenzy. I don’t doubt that someone heard this number being bandied about. I wonder if it was not from some Swiss journalist rather than a financial person. A Swiss could look at this from their perspective. 1.15 can also mean the numbers of Euros each Swiss Franc would convert to. In FX markets we think of EURCHF. Swiss people think of it as CHFEUR. Just for the record, 1.15 CHFEUR is the same as EURCHF at .8700.

    I’m at all sure what comes next for the CHF. We are in very unstable times. I see no reason why stability is going to show up tomorrow and stay for a long visit. What I do know is that the talk of a CHF peg is very premature, I know that if it were to happen it would have to be at levels much lower than exist today. I also know that one should not get their thinking on FX from the touts nice folks at CNBC.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/contribute...-%E2%80%93-not

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