Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

Swiss voters set to reject Saab fighter jet deal: poll

Published on Mar 17, 2014 12:27 AM

ZURICH (REUTERS) - A majority of Swiss voters are against the purchase of 22 Gripen fighter jets from Swedish defence firm Saab, a poll showed on Sunday, raising the possibility that a popular vote due in May could scupper the US$3.4 billion (S$4.3 billion) deal.

Around 62 per cent of voters would reject the proposal to replace Switzerland's ageing fleet of Northrop F-5 Tiger fighters with the Gripen jets, according the survey conducted by polling institute Leger and published in Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick.

The poll, which questioned more than 1,000 people, showed 32 per cent of those who planned to vote were in favour of the deal.

The Gripens are unpopular with some in Switzerland, which has not fought an international war for 200 years, because the deal will require cost cuts in other areas, such as education.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!