Switzerland has a very direct democracy. Last weekend the Swiss could vote on minimum wage and on a fighter jet purchase. Both proposals fell through.
Saab management had to stomach a defeat by Swiss voters on Sunday. Saab had a deal on the table to sell Switzerland 22 Gripen Fighter Jets, a deal worth $3.5 billion. The Swiss government wanted to replace their again Northtrop F-5 Tiger jets with a new fleet.
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Swiss voters did though not like to cut budgets on other important issues in order to get new planes. Given that Switzerland is really very small, they should rather get some helicopters to defend their air space.
Saab also reacted to the vote in Switzerland. In a statement the company said that the voting result means that the Gripen E procurement process in Switzerland stops. For Saab, the Gripen E program continues according to plan, with development and production of 60 Gripen E for Sweden ongoing and deliveries scheduled for 2018.
“Our focus is helping countries protect their ways of life, which we do by serving the global market with world-leading products, including Gripen. We have seen in Switzerland support for Gripen, including through its evaluation and selection over competitors and in the votations in the Swiss Parliament last year,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.
“We respect the process in Switzerland and do not comment on today’s outcome in the referendum. Following selection in 2011, hundreds of business relationships in Switzerland have been created through the Swiss Industrial Participation program, which was created in relation to the Gripen E procurement. These are relationships we look forward to continuing as long as possible,” adds Håkan Buskhe.
The Swiss also voted down what would have been the highest minimum wage in the world. Swiss could have voted for a minimum wage of $25. Via Reuters.