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Bahnerth, Michael

Kommentator Basler Zeitung

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3 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Basler Zeitung - Switzerland | 19/11/2013

Prostitution an important valve for society

The call by the German feminist Alice Schwarzer for punters to be penalised, as well as a corruption affair surrounding a hotel used by prostitutes in Zurich have sparked a debate about prostitution in Switzerland. The argument in favour of fighting human trafficking with a ban on sex work is backward and wrong, the right-wing conservative daily Basler Zeitung writes: "This argument is about as satisfying as a prostitute who yodels on the job. A definitive ban on prostitution would lead to just one thing: even more prostitution. The result wouldn't be a society that's better in some way, but just one that's more dishonest. An uncontrollable dark zone would emerge in which prostitutes would have fewer rights than Swiss cattle. It's never a good idea to close a society's pressure relief valve, because then pressure from the social magma could increase to the point of causing an uncontrollable eruption. ... Valves are not the downfall of a society, but its very survival."

Basler Zeitung - Switzerland | 05/06/2013

Switzerland spineless in tax dispute

Several parties announced in the Swiss parliament on Tuesday their opposition to a controversial special law for resolving the tax dispute with the US. The conservative Basler Zeitung criticises the government as petty and spineless for giving in to the pressure from the US: "As soon as Goliath waves his sword, David, instead of standing up straight, hurriedly bows down in compliance. Nowadays Switzerland capitulates without even putting up a fight. … Where has this paradigm shift in the Swiss soul come from, which only a couple of decades ago declared in the book The Swiss Army that we may be small, but one of us weighed ten times more than anyone else? Whence this loser philosophy that no longer dares to take the sceptre in its hand and say the word 'no'? … Perhaps this loss of strength is a product of the unquenchable desire of the small to be part of something big, to join in the global conformism without realising that in doing so it loses the power of independent thinking."

Basler Zeitung - Switzerland | 15/03/2012

Road accidents can hit anyone

Twenty-two Belgian school children and six adults were killed in Switzerland on Tuesday evening when their tour bus crashed in a motorway tunnel. The accident reminds us that danger is never far away, comments the conservative daily Basler Zeitung: "This sudden flaring up of human mortality both silences and horrifies us. This sudden loss of order in the world, of the knowledge that I get up in the morning and go to bed at night safe and sound, more or less the same person. This illusory security that life and survival can be taken for granted in an ordered, civilised world. And the painful realisation that such a calamity really can strike anyone. All it takes is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and one nutcase to put and end to your life, or at least change it irrevocably. ... What remains is the knowledge that life can also take such turns. And the hope that something like this won't happen every day."

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