(Bloomberg) — Neutral Switzerland voted in favor of buying new fighter jets for as much as 6 billion francs ($6.5 billion) by a razor-thin margin, while citizens rejected a “worse than Brexit” curb on immigration.
Just 50.2% of voters backed the expenditure in a national referendum on Sunday, with less than 10,000 ballots separating the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps. A proposal to introduce new limits on immigration from the European Union, however, was defeated by a comfortable margin.
Thanks to voters approving the money for airplanes, “the Swiss army will be able to fulfill its duties in the future,” Defense Minister Viola Amherd said at a press conference in Bern.
Having secured public backing, the government must decide which kind of jets and how many to purchase. Bids from France’s Dassault Aviation SA, Airbus SE, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have been solicited.