With the precision of a Swiss clock, opponents of the Swiss government’s decision to buy JAS-39E/F Gripen fighters are calling for a public referendum in the hope that will kill the deal.
The left SP party, which convened this weekend in Luzern, has long opposed the fighter procurement, so the opposition is not tied, specifically, to the decision in favor of the Swedish Gripen. However, with last week's decision to buy 22 Gripens, the referendum issue has been put back on the political agenda.
The SP argues that the expenditure the fighters will require will lead to cuts in other public spending areas, including transport and education.
Odds are against the initiative gaining broad enough support for the referendum to be called.