News from Switzerland

Our sister organization in Switzerland, MoMo (Monetary Modernization) and its action arm Vollgeld Initiative (Sovereign Money Initiative), has just passed the 100,000 mark in collecting signatures to trigger a referendum on the Swiss money system. They started their drive in the spring of 2014 and had 18 months time to get the required amount of signatures. The notarized signatures will be handed over to the Swiss government on December 1.

As guest author Daniel Hersheson stated on Positive Money, that “should the MoMo team succeed in putting such a fundamental reform proposal to a national vote, this would be a momentous achievement for the monetary reform movement in Europe and across the globe.  All eyes would be fixed on Switzerland, because success for this small but significant player in the financial arena would inevitably have a ripple effect in other countries”[1].

So far at least two dozen Swiss news outlets shared the news and was picked up by Reuters.[4] The Swiss paper Die Blick seems even moderately positive about the initiative and interviewed respectfully one of its initiators, the economist Reinhold Harringer.[2]

The text of the initiative proposes to amend the Swiss constitution such that (these are my chosen highlights and translations)

1) ” The federal government guarantees the maintenance of the economy with money and financial services”.

2) “The federal government alone creates coins, banknotes and electronic money as legal tender”.

3) “The Swiss National Bank enacts as an independent Central Bank a monetary policy which serves the overall welfare of the country; it controls the money supply and ensures the functioning of payments as well as to maintain the economy with credit to the financial service providers”.

4) “Under its legal mandate it spends newly created money debt free into circulation, either through the federal state, the cantons, or directly assign it to citizens”[3].

In the Reuters article Momo spokesman Raffael Wuethrich was quoted, stating that it might still take five years for the referendum to take place.[4]

[1] Hersheson, Daniel. “Campaign for Monetary Reform – News from Switzerland“. 18 Dec 2013. Positive Money.

[2] Studer, Rudy. “105’000 beglaubigte Unterschriften: Vollgeld-Initiative kommt zustande“. Die Blick.  31 Oct 2015.

[3] Federal popular initiative “For crisis-resilient money: Money creation solely by the National Bank! (Full Money Initiative)

[4] Miller, John. “Swiss group says it has signatures for ‘sovereign money’ vote“. Reuters. 31 Oct 2015.

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