The Swiss Parliament has gone too far.
The first draft of the Law on Secondary Homes presented by the Federal Council in February 2014 had already “more than exhausted the leeway” the Constitution allows for, according to Minister Doris Leuthard. Last September, the Council of States had already expanded the possibilities to circumvent the prohibition on secondary homes constructions inscribed in the Constitution. The Environmental Commission of the National Council has now forsaken all restraint.
Reason has been widely forgotten. Apartments offered on rental platforms free from any control, almost limitless change of allocation and extension possibilities, transformations of hotels into secondary homes, old city plans allowing new constructions… the law drafted by the Parliament is nothing more than a recipe book for more constructions of secondary homes!
On top of all that, the Commission of the National Council now suggests the law should be declared urgent, allowing it to enter into force immediately and remaining so for a whole year, regardless of a possible referendum by the Swiss people… A total lack of respect for the will of the people!
The Parliament miscalculated. The unique Swiss landscapes are its main touristic asset. If the construction of secondary homes were to continue, who would still want to visit these places, except from the “lucky owners”, two weeks per year?
Fondation Franz Weber and Helvetia Nostra hope the National Council – and the entire Parliament - will come to their senses. The future touristic development of Switzerland, as well as the respect of the people’s will, are now under their responsibility!
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