This Friday evening, the SRF “Arena” gets down to business: the subject of the show is the Ukraine war and its effects on Switzerland: should we deliver weapons? Seize oligarch assets? And is all this compatible with Swiss neutrality? The party leaders are discussing this in the presidential “arena”, as moderator Sandro Brotz (52) proudly announced on Wednesday.
Only: Two days later, the “Arena” is no longer quite as presidential. SP co-president Mattea Meyer (34), middle boss Gerhard Pfister (59), FDP president Thierry Burkart (46) and Green leader Balthasar Gättli (50) are in the SRF studio. However, it is not Marco Chiesa (47) who steps into the ring for SVP – but Roger Köppel (57).
Neither Martullo nor Amaudruz nor Dettling
The GLP is also not represented by Jürg Grossen (52), but by National Councilor Melanie Mettler (44). But the native of Bern is at least the vice-president of the party. That’s not Köppel – Céline Amaudruz (43), Magdalena Martullo-Blocher (52) and Marcel Dettling (41) occupy these top positions at SVP.
So how does Köppel get into the “Arena”? When asked by Blick, SRF wrote that SVP party president Marco Chiesa and SVP vice president Magdalena Martullo-Blocher were not available. “Roger Köppel is responsible for the dossier on the topic of the program in the party leadership and in the SVP and is therefore part of the party leadership ‘arena’ tonight,” says editor-in-chief Franziska Egli (38).
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That’s only half true: Köppel is a member of the 27-strong party leadership, but only in his function as “responsible” for the policy area of European policy – which is really not the point on Friday evening.
Pressure attempt by the SVP?
“CH Media” suspected that Köppel’s invitation was a test for the SRF: Because in the discussion after the last scandal between the “Arena” and the largest party in the country, the SVP complained that Köppel was no longer invited. From the point of view of the SVP, this is a disadvantage for them, because rhetorically he often cuts a better figure than other exponents. However, an “Arena” with Köppel tends to become a one-man show.
In any case, the special train for the SVP is not well received by the other parties, who even send their bosses before the upcoming voting Sunday. “Other rules obviously apply to the SVP,” says one party. “Obviously it’s more worth sanctioning the SRF than being decent,” from another.
Even in the SVP one is irritated
And even in the SVP there is great irritation that Köppel is being sent to the Leutschenbach – of all days in the week in which the National Council’s immunity commission lifted his parliamentary immunity and thus paved the way for a criminal investigation against him.
After all: Brotz no longer talks about a presidential “arena”. Now he is looking forward to three topics and six guests.