Switzerland: Calls for referendums against hosting Eurovision 2025!

The Federal Democratic Union (UDF) is challenging the funding allocated for the Eurovision Song Contest 2025 organization. The party has announced the launch of referendums, with the Alemannic Federation of Taxpayers, closely aligned with the Swiss People’s Party (UDC), primarily targeting Zurich’s candidacy.

The ultra-conservative evangelical party UDF criticizes the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) for evolving into an event with “increasingly anti-Semitic incidents” and “more satanic and occultist contributions.” They cite protests in Malmö, Sweden, against Israel’s participation in the last ESC due to the Gaza war as an example.

According to the UDF, such manifestations predict a high-security risk for the ESC in Switzerland next May. The party aims to coordinate the collection of signatures against the funds allocated for the potential hosting cities: Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Bern/Bienne.

Referendums Planned in Zurich and Bern

On Tuesday, UDF sections in the city and canton of Zurich decided to launch a referendum against the city’s 20 million francs funding framework, approved last Wednesday by the legislature. This money is intended to co-finance the event if Zurich is chosen as the host city for the ESC. The cantonal parliament also approved a 5 million francs credit on Monday.

Last Wednesday, the UDF sections in Bern decided to initiate a referendum against the credits for the joint candidacy of Bern and Bienne. In Bern, UDC and Alternative Green politicians have already submitted a referendum text. At the cantonal level, the UDC and UDF will call for a referendum if the nearly 30 million francs credit is approved by the Grand Council.

“The canton of Bern still has significant debt and some of the highest taxes in Switzerland. In this context, we want strict financial policies,” stated UDC National Councillor Manfred Bühler on Tuesday evening in Forum. He affirmed that the UDC Bern‘s opposition is motivated purely by financial concerns, not socio-cultural conservatism.

However, Cyprien Louis, co-president of the Bern Greens, countered that “the economic, visual, and audiovisual benefits that such an event can bring to the region” should also be considered.

UDF Geneva Supports the Contest

The UDF is also targeting the funding for the Geneva and Basel candidacies. In these cities, the funds have yet to be voted on by their respective parliaments.

However, in Geneva, even the UDF is enthusiastic about the potential of hosting the Eurovision. “The UDF Geneva is excited about the local economic benefits of such an event, whether cultural or sports-related. We regret the disappearance of events like the Geneva Motor Show, which hinders the local economy,” explained Lionel Dugerdil, president of UDF Geneva, in the 12h30 program.

Meanwhile, the Alemannic Federation of Taxpayers is focusing on opposing Zurich’s candidacy. The federation questioned why Zurich taxpayers should co-finance the ESC, calling it “a private event,” and is set to decide on launching a referendum against the city’s funding on Wednesday.

By the end of August, the SSR will choose the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest in consultation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Potential referendums will be possible only afterward.

Stay tuned to Eurovisionfun for all the latest updates on the Eurovision Song Contest 2025!

Source: RTS

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