Swiss Army Wants to Ramp Up Spending on Growing Europe Threats

(Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s armed forces want to spend as much as 50 billion francs ($57 billion) over the next years to cope with a security situation in Europe that has been deteriorating after Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the country’s army chief said.

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“Switzerland is refocusing its army on national defense,” Thomas Suessli told reporters in Kloten near Zurich on Thursday.

The army plans new investments of 13 billion francs into communications, ground forces and cyber defenses. Together with regular maintenance and other costs, this totals 50 billion francs through the early 2030s, Suessli said.

Turning to a concrete example, he highlighted that the amount of ammunition Switzerland currently buys per year covers training cadets, but wouldn’t be enough to defend the country in case of an attack. In the future, budgets should reflect that scenario, he said.

Suessli, who is Switzerland’s highest military official, stipulated that the figure is only a request and that the final decision on how much money will be spent rests with lawmakers. Still, the planned investments are backed by a prior government and parliament decision to raise military spending to 1% of annual economic output, according to a statement.

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