according to the foreign Minister, Ignazio Cassis (57), is Glencore a flagship operation. This impression of the world’s largest commodity trading company based in Switzerland, the FDP Federal councillor mediated when he visited in early January on his trip to Africa, a Glencore Mine. Investing millions in training, a billion for the modernization of the equipment: The company will do in the copper mine Mopani everything, to let the scandal-prone past far behind. The announcement, which sent the Department of foreign Affairs (FDFA) at the time. Only, apparently that’s not enough.

at Least seven people taken to hospital

In contrast to what Cassis’ Department, spread to the Mine, to keep the scandals. VIEW-research shows that Only a few weeks before the Federal Council’s visit, several people had to due to emissions of toxic sulfur dioxide to the hospital. A local resident told the Zambian television, you and one other Person had become due to the emissions to pass out. Next to them, at least, five other persons had, on 10. December in medical treatment have to go. A few days after the visit to Cassis’ in Zambia, the Glencore Mine in addition to a particularly heavy spread of the poisonous gas.

Exactly Chris Mweemba of Zambia, a Zambian Organisation, Advocacy for Human Development criticized. According to him, it comes today although less frequently, to leaking of gas. “But the emissions have become stronger,” he said in an interview with LOOK. The residents would have to close the doors, the sheet metal roofs of the houses it rusted because of the toxic fumes and were broken. Christopher Nkhata, a representative of a local NGO, calls on Switzerland: “We are calling on the Swiss government to send an investigation team to us.”

Glencore did not deny the hospitalizations on demand. Since January they have received but no complaints due to emissions in more, say it in a comment. But In February Mopani’ve decided due to “some performance issues”, a smelting plant to shut down. So should be reached, that “furthermore, around 95 percent” of the sulphur dioxide emissions are kept back. 10. February to 4. March the smelting plant had to be closed.

In the case of the WHO limits are not milked this fucking job

It’s true that the Glencore-Mine now meets the limits of the world health organization (WHO), always, how, the EDA wanted to make the Public in January by means of a Communiqué to believe. Apparently, it was not the Federal government with this statement, but even very well: Ten days later, he wiped her from the media release. To make sure the EDA of the Mine exhibited a Persil ticket, is all the more surprising, as not even Glencore even dare such a statement.

The company made the point that If there is a shutdown or a power failure, would have exceeded the values for “temporarily in the short term,” the raw material group. From the opinion Glencore is also clear that it can also come in the case of an Overload on the system to exceed the limits. Therefore, Teams of Mopani monitor the emission values and “reduce according to the production in the smelting plant if necessary”.

Glencore refers to real-time monitoring stations. However, health is sulfur dioxide already harmful when one is exposed to the poisonous Gas only for a short time. In addition, Glencore does not make the measurement data publicly – not even the Federal Council had insight Cassis. As a former doctor, Cassis could aspect quite interesting.

in Addition, there were other discrepancies in the EDA communication: Cassis, giving the appearance that he had met in Zambia, local NGOs. Later came out that this was not the case.

Not a balanced Briefing

Today is clear: The Glencore-visit of Cassis is a communications debacle for the EDA. And he was already, before the Ticino’s only been on a plane to Zambia. The newspaper “Il caffè” reported on the Briefing, the Cassis received in advance of the trip about the Glencore-Mine. The documents also LOOK. Show: Cassis was pretty one-sided and superficial, as well as Mine. An EDA staff had asked Glencore whether you could get to the Africa activities of the group information: “Would it be possible to provide us with a one-pager that describes your business in Africa, with some of the data (Numbers of employees)?” The Info should be really short, because otherwise Cassis, not, read, you name it.

Glencore delivers the Info page. In just two sentences the group to the Situation around the toxic emissions from the Mine. This is from an entrepreneurial point of view, legitimate. In the case of a company that is so in the review, such as Glencore, it would have been in the self-interest of the EDA and of public interest, this company’s perspective, a critical voice.

The critics were> the EDA, regardless of

in order for the EDA staff will have done your free-thinking head of Department in the middle of the parliamentary debate, the group responsible Initiative. It looks like he’s interested, not for the concern of the people, but only for those of the economy.

companies should also make for daughters abroad to be responsible

The Initiative aims to companies resident in Switzerland for human rights violations and environmental damage abroad will be liable. Only if a company can prove that it has fulfilled the duty of care, it can be used for violations of a subsidiary company is not responsible.

Launched the Initiative of an Alliance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). One of the companies, because of the founders on the people’s initiative handles, is just Glencore, the commodities group. Due to toxic fumes from a copper mine in Zambia, the Glencore holds a stake of 73 per cent, the group’s been criticized for years.

For the initiators, it is clear that the Cassis with the Persil ticket he issued, Glencore, has not only made corporate PR for the commodity traders, but also mood against the group a sense of responsibility Initiative. Because – and this is his message – after all, everything is good in the case of Glencore. It is the impression, as if it did not need the people’s desire and even.

The NGO of the Public Eye, is outraged – especially because the visit of Cassis came at a delicate time. For Public-Eye-spokesperson Oliver Classen is clear that the FDP-the Federal Council has pursued a political Agenda: “heralded by our Minister of foreign Affairs in Zambia, if not already, the Federal Council’s vote campaign?”, he asks. For the initiators Cassis vote propaganda has operated by he – raised particularly pushing the wrong impression that everything would be all right at the Glencore Mine.

The EDA is talking about the mines-visit small today

The EDA explains, the Africa trip from Cassis extended for a period of five days in three countries. “The visit at Glencore lasted for two hours.” You will work closely with NGOs and care of regular contacts.

The Council of States debated today about the fate of the group-responsibility-Initiative: Is a comparison of the Initiative with a counter-proposal? This possibility fails in the Stöckli? Or gives way to counter-proposal is so strong, that the initiators insist to bring the Initiative to the ballot box?

It remains to be seen whether the people of the company takes one day in the responsibility. The sympathy for the concerns of the people of desire are in the population, in any case a great. And the economy is also partly open to it, that the company shall be responsible for the operations of foreign subsidiaries. The IG detail trade of Migros, Coop, Denner and Manor, together to have talks, according to the Newspapers from the house of Tamedia for example, for the counter-proposal to the Initiative.