Swiss small-business owners debate media fee

Switzerland’s Federation of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) supports a proposal to do away with mandatory licence fees for public service broadcasters, which will come to a nationwide vote on March 4. Two of its members sat down to discuss the issue.  The SME umbrella organisation is up against an alliance of most political parties, parliament, the government, trade unions and most sectors of the business community, who recommend voting against the initiative. But it is a political force to be reckoned with, representing about 300,000 companies grouped in 250 trade associations. The federation spearheaded a campaign to try to scupper a reform of the public radio and television funding system in 2015. It has also been at the forefront of political efforts to abolish public broadcast licence fees, but not all of its members toe the line.  Jürg Schär, who made a name for himself as a e-bike pioneer, is a chairman of several SMEs outside Bern. Konrad Rüegg, a former ...

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