Watching the bonfire. Photo credit: Alex McCarthy
Swiss security forces are getting nervous
Jan Flückiger, Secretary General of the Federal Conference of Energy Directors, has warned that "internal security will become a problem" because the federal government in Bern has not yet recognized any urgency as the prospect of a cold winter full of hardship looms. Fredy Fässler, politician from the canton of St.Gallen, agreed with this warning.
In Swiss daily Blick, the police officer warned bluntly that there could be riots and looting if Switzerland were hit by a severe energy crisis in winter. “Imagine that you can no longer withdraw money from ATMs, you can no longer use your card to pay in stores or fill up at gas stations. The heating no longer works. It is cold. The streets are getting dark. It is conceivable that the population will rebel or that there will be looting,” said Fässler, and strongly recommended that the country’s authorities take measures to prepare for such extreme scenarios.
Fässler even recalled that during exercises carried out in 2014 to prepare for a blackout scenario, significant shortcomings were identified, including the lack of emergency power generators for the police, hospitals and other important infrastructure and services. These deficiencies have been remedied in recent years – the security forces are now armed.
There are good reasons for this precautionary measure: “I don’t want to sound extreme, but environmental disasters have also shown that certain people have abused the situation to plunder unprotected objects. This could also be the case when the network is switched off, for example in shops where there is something to buy.”
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