Zürich, Winter Olympics, Swiss Government discussed on Monocle 24: The Globalist


Design team commissions entirely new prints from different designers around the world. And the printing factory also operates as a testing laboratory today for new innovation. So we have, for example, experimented with printing on innovative wood based fibers and currently we are looking at different botanical dyes made of onion or sumac, for example. Since we're talking about prints, I do have to ask you, of course, what your own personal favorite print is. This is probably the hardest question. You can ask from a employee. But if I have to pick, I will choose one of our first and most iconic prints by work on our mast from 1953. Big color is a print that exists in over 500 colorways. And it is used, for example, in the yokai shirt, which is our classic unisex garment that has been in continuous production since the 1950s. And while this product is a classic, it has been reinvented on many occasions and it has come out in plant based die this summer and just recently in an upcycled version. And I feel that this is truly what is about. So staying true to your heritage, but always reinventing ourselves. For monocle enhancing, I'm Peter reports of. You're listening to the globalist on monocle 24 with me, Georgina godman coming to you live. From Midori house in London. And we're going to cross over now to our Zürich studio for today's newspapers with Florian edgley, who is a senior associate at for the Swiss foreign policy think tank. Good morning to Florian. Good morning to our Gina. Let's start with having a look at the Swiss government because there is government reform on the table. The National Council wants to enlarge the state government. Why is that? And is it likely to go ahead? Indeed, so this government reform in Switzerland has been tried 12 times over at this morning and it was never successful now let's see if it is this time. The proposal on the table is to increase the size of the government from 7 to 9. So we currently have 7 federal councillors. They act as ministers, but effectively together they form the executive branch of the government. And the proposal is to increase this to 9. Now, why is this proposal on the table? I think what really exemplifies as well is that today only 70% of the voters are represented in the federal council. So 30% do not have a representative of their party in the federal council. And that's mainly the Green Party and the green Liberal Party. And so this kind of has been on the table on and off. But now it is actually debated in parliament and of course there are pros and cons to that. And I'm not sure so it went through the first chamber it will probably not go through the second chamber because it's more conservative. But I think there is really because of these new parties gaining strength. There is new momentum for this for this motion. I'm just surprised it's not a referendum, isn't that what Swiss people always? We might get a vote India and you know you never know you never know. Let's have a look at the Winter Olympics because these are proving highly contentious. There is a threat of a diplomatic boycott and do you think that that is going to go ahead? And what does that mean for the future of China's soft power and indeed the politicization of sport? First up, we're ten weeks from the Winter Olympics which I didn't know where I wasn't aware of. So it's pretty soon. They're going to happen in Beijing. After they happened in Russia in 2014 and we're also kind of ahead of the World Cup in soccer in Qatar. So we kind of have a streak of autocratic games I would almost say. Until then, afterwards it brightens up a bit with Paris and Los Angeles for some Olympics and the 2026 World Cup soccer World Cup in the U.S. and Mexico. So we might have to hold on tight for a bit until until it gets a bit better. But to your question, so the U.S. government is contemplating issuing a boycott is maybe too strong of a word, but a general ban of U and government U.S. government representatives to attend the Winter Olympics. So to in order not to provide a stage, of course, to the Chinese government to present itself to the world as a accepted and somewhat I would say progressive government, which is what governments tend to do in big sport. I'm a sport events. So I think we've seen kind of a period where sports was really sports. And now it becomes more politicized again. So just this week or late last week, the squash World Cup was canceled in Malaysia because Malaysia didn't allow the Israeli Israeli players to enter the country. So again, there was more of a religiously motivated ban. Now it's a politicized ban from the U.S.. I just think that these stages are going to become more contentious again as we see different blocks in here in the U.S. and China struggling to be portrayed as the progressive as the accepted world were leaders. So it's interesting. And I think the U.S. government will go ahead. I think we won't see government representatives in Beijing. And I think they will really try to keep the ball very, very low and not have a very large and broad coverage of these Winter Olympics, which will probably be the case in the western world, but of course some China has its own channel. So it will also be a communication struggle in that sense of how much broadcasting and how much attention these games will get. It seems to me that the International Olympic Committee needs reform because they decide where these games are going to be. And we have a string of places which have been have had terrible human rights standards. And surely, that should be under consideration when the IOC decides where the next game is going to be. Is it just driven by commerce and business decisions? I mean, it should definitely, and you know, there is a role that Switzerland has to play in this. The IOC sits in Lausanne. The FIFA for the world cups sits in Zürich. So a sport, even the way of us sits in Switzerland. A lot of these sports organizations sit in Switzerland, which is Switzerland is also a hub for human rights, a hub for diplomacy for international negotiations and all of that. So I do think that the Swiss government traditionally has been extremely has had a hands off approach and said, these decisions are what they are and we will never interfere in any way with these or lobby for anything. But I think there is really something to be said that sports shouldn't be all for business and commerce. But human rights considerations must really be taken into account. Absolutely. Let's look at outsourcing jobs because there's a big example of this. Novartis, which is actually moving away from Switzerland to eastern Central Europe. Tell us more about this. Yeah, so Novartis is one of the biggest companies in Basel, so it's really at the heart of the pharmaceutical industry in Basel, and also the broader economic area around Basel, which comprises France and Germany. And their outsourcing jobs of their announced this already some years ago, they're going to cut down 2100 jobs in Basel, and they're going to move the majority of these to Slovenia. And now I think this is interesting for two reasons. First, they're moving jobs to Slovenia, which is kind of the Switzerland of Eastern Europe, right? So stable, small country, everything works very well. But salaries are dramatically lower. So the targets on cycle writes today that the average person in Basel that has lost his or her job made around CHF 8000 a month plus a bonus, whereas this person is replaced by a worker in Slovenia, making €2500 without bonus. So that's dramatic. That's about a quarter or a third of the salary cost. And yet everything will probably just work fine in Slovenia too. So I think the pandemic has shown that a lot of jobs can be outsourced, and there is two trends, so one is that service centers are probably even more outsourced also smaller companies can outsource now because of the experiences we've made in the pandemic, but on the other hand production jobs are actually moving back to Switzerland because transport costs have skyrocketed and there is more optimization. So it's interesting that these two sectors behave very differently now after almost two years of a pandemic in terms of outsourcing. Florian, thank you very much, indeed. That was Florian egle, and this is the globalist. 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