Economy

Swiss seem to reject ban on investment in war equipment | Financial

The ‘Initiative Against the War’ proposal would prohibit Swiss banks and investors from owning shares in companies that generate more than 5 percent of their turnover from weapons. Banks should also no longer be allowed to provide loans to those companies. For example, the rejection of a ban saves the central bank from the duty to quickly dispose of approximately 18.5 billion euros worth of shares, according to Swiss media. Switzerland has a deep-rooted weapons culture, despite rarely having been involved in war in the last 200 years.

A second proposal on ethical business does not seem to be successful either. The Responsible Business Initiative would hold multinationals responsible for human rights violations and environmental pollution abroad. A small majority of voters opposed the proposal. In any case, the proposal seemed to die during the day, because a majority of the 26 cantons also had to be ahead. At least fourteen cantons voted against.

The Swiss government advised voters to vote against both proposals because they would harm the economy. If any of the proposals were adopted, it had the potential to transform the corporate landscape in a country known for low taxes and relaxed regulations.

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