Friday, April 13, 2012

Tal der Ahnungslosen

Swiss valley proudly turns down the prospect of finding more than a billion dollars’ worth of gold under the feet of its’ inbred villagers. Why bother when you can pick the pockets of the world's poor whose dictators and cleptocrats have left their stolen goods in your banks?
There are no ski lifts or chalets and the only tourists who come here are fishermen, cross-country skiers and hunters in search of red deer and chamois.

"The mine would have been very positive. Look at this picture," he said, pointing at a black and white print of the village from 60 years ago, showing two children in grubby smocks playing in an unpaved back alley lined with wooden-tiled houses.

"If nothing new happens here, the valley will go back to how it was then. There'll be no future for young people. The village is dying but people here are only thinking from one day to the next," said Mr Boehm, a German who has lived in Switzerland for 18 years.
How very romantic. Look, the Swiss are different. The "Culture" page of the paper is the business section, and vice versa, despite the 3 or 4 people still living the rural existence. Despite this, their lethargy is rife. It seems that only out of habit do they use the term “for our children” when the once otherwise enthusiastic womenfolk themselves are aiding in their demographic decline by not popping out that many future bankers and hedge fund managers anyway.
"The population is declining – there were 850 people living here in the 1960s – so we are looking for new opportunities. The mine would have brought fresh blood. We cannot stay as a museum – we need a future for our young people. To do nothing is not an option – that way we will just continue to die as a community."

Such arguments failed to sway the majority of the valley's inhabitants.
So it would seem.