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SWITZERLAND: A POINT OUTSIDE EUROPEAN QUARANTINE

Swiss. Country consolidated in the nineteenth century and located in the center of Europe, between France, Germany, Italy and Austria. A federation of cantons (similar to our states); known for its high quality of life, watchmaking, chocolates and a reference in diplomacy and relations with other countries. On the political scene, one of the moments in which Switzerland is often featured in the Brazilian news is during the World Economic Forums, which bring together leaders from around the world once a year in the Swiss Alps.

In this country, which is regarded as a model for many, the corona virus crisis has shown that the stability propagated does not have as solid or at least not as accessible a basis of support as we imagined. In Switzerland there is no public health system; there the population is obliged by law to have a private health plan under penalty of fines in cash. As for virus prevention measures, the congress would be the institution capable of organizing national public health actions, however, it is in quarantine, unlike the majority of the country’s population who are being forced to continue working normally.

Under the cloak of dialogue and diplomacy, the powerful classes in Switzerland have for years been imposing harsh working conditions on the population: there is no right to strike, there is no national floor for the minimum wage or even some control over the workload of the workers, sometimes resulting in loads that exceed 60 hours per week. From the narrative of those above, everything can be resolved in a diplomatic dialogue between boss and employee, but in practice, the rates of mental illness and suicides of female and male workers are increasing.

It is in the middle of this almost paradoxical scenario that thousands of people have made their first experiences with politics, in a country that until recently there was no tradition of popular mobilizations, but which in recent history has become the stage for constant demonstrations on various agendas and themes, with emphasis on the struggle of women expressed in the massive feminist strikes in recent years, on March 8 and strikes in defense of the climate – both demonstrating the need to organize themselves collectively and with intense participation and insertion of our comrades from SolidaritéS.

Now, in the absence of a national force, the dispute is for measures to be taken in each of the so-called cantons to protect the population of COVID-19, including not only horizontal quarantine, but also the organization of a national working group formed by federal deputies to coordinate anti-coronavirus actions, the implementation of basic income for the population, as well as the injection of state money for prevention and care of the sick, in the same proportions that it has injected in the form of aid for private companies, etc.

On our part, our most sincere solidarity goes out to our fellow Solidarités!

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Writing office

  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder