Instead of 1570 only 100 francs
Valais politicians go skiing at a ridiculous price
Accepting gifts is tricky for politicians. These are often associated with expectations. However, various Valais parliamentarians and members of the government use heavily discounted ski passes, while citizens pay the full price.
With the “Snowpass Limited”, politicians can travel almost anywhere in Valais for free, for example here in Leukerbad.
Skiing costs money – unless you’re a Valais politician. The winter sports areas of the mountain canton give their government members, federal parliamentarians from the canton and Valais local councils discounted or even free ski passes. The best-known corruption expert in Switzerland, law professor Mark Pieth (69), does not believe that this is legally justifiable.
On the contrary: It is “very likely” relevant under criminal law. Since the case of Geneva State Councilor Pierre Maudet (44), who, according to the court, had obtained an “undue” advantage with a luxury trip to Abu Dhabi as a gift, members of a cantonal government should be more careful.
The ski subscriptions for politicians were made public by French-speaking Switzerland radio and television (RTS). Then the “NZZ” reported about it. However, she emphasizes that by no means all politicians who could receive the gift would actually take advantage of it. The majority of national and state councilors have recognized the problem, and five out of seven parliamentarians are forgoing the general ski subscription. According to the RTS report, Benjamin Roduit (middle) and Jean-Luc Addor (SVP) accept such subscriptions.
Well-known ski destinations such as Verbier, Portes du Soleil, Nax and Nendaz/Veysonnaz give executive members of these Valais municipalities a ski season pass. Depending on the area and time of purchase, such a subscription costs up to 1,000 francs.
Government majority accepts
On top of that. Valais federal parliamentarians and the five members of the canton government can get the “Snowpass Limited” from Valais mountain railways for just 100 francs. This normally costs 1570 francs. The “Snowpass Limited” entitles you to free travel on all ski slopes in the canton. Only Zermatt and 4 Vallées allow holders of this ski pass to use the slopes for only four days.
In addition to five parliamentarians, two Valais state councilors are also waving the ski pass: Neither Franz Ruppen (51, SVP) nor Mathias Reynard (35, SP) make use of it. On the other hand, Frédéric Favre (43, FDP), Roberto Schmidt (60, middle) and Christophe Darbellay (51, middle) should use the offer. Darbellay even defended the heavily discounted ski pass on the radio. The offer is by no means an attempt to influence. “We act completely independently,” he makes clear. As proof of this, he cites the collective labor agreement that the cantonal government enforced against the will of the mountain railways. (pt)