| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

Swiss voters set to back COVID-19 law, crackdown on pesticides

In binding referendums next month, Swiss voters are expected to back government steps to curb the coronavirus pandemic and to endorse a crackdown on pesticide use, despite Bern’s wishes, according to a poll for broadcaster SRF released on Friday.

The COVID-19 act was passed by Parliament in September, but opponents of the measures to restrict public life and provide financial support to the economy forced a vote under Switzerland’s direct democracy scheme.

According to the SRF survey, two-thirds of voters support the reforms, although 27% oppose them and 6% are undecided or have no opinion.

Bern faces a tougher test in other matters up for binding votes on June 13.

A campaign to ban subsidies for farmers who use pesticides or routinely administer antibiotics to animals won 54% support in the poll, despite the government’s appeal to reject the plan that it says could cut farm output and fuel food imports.

A separate campaign to ban artificial pesticides and outlaw the import of foodstuffs that use them was winning 55% support, according to the poll. The government opposes the idea.

Two out of three voters seem to favor a law granting police the authority to take preventative action in cases of alleged terrorist attacks, while three out of five voters support legislation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The margin of error for gfs.bern’s poll of nearly 23,000 registered voters was 2.8 percentage points.

  • Reuters