(Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s Greens and Social Democrats intend to call a special joint session of both houses of parliament over the government-brokered takeover of Credit Suisse Group AG by UBS Group AG.
Together the two have more than a quarter of the seats in the lower house, a tally which allows them to demand such a meeting, Green party parliament leader Aline Trede told reporters on Monday. According to Swiss law, a requested special session has to be convened within three weeks if the state has given out an emergency loan of more than 500 million francs ($540 million).
The Swiss government agreed to backstop potential UBS losses of up to 9 billion francs arising from the takeover. It also guarantees for losses at the Swiss National Bank, which has announced it will provide additional liquidity of up to 100 billion francs.
“It is obviously beneficial from a democratic point of view that there is a debate in parliament,” said Rene Schwok, director of the Global Studies Institute at the University of Geneva. “I doubt very much that it will lead to any concrete measures of any significance. The majority of the parliament is clearly on the right and the Socialists/Greens are clearly in the minority.”
Greens and Social Democrats hold 69 seats in the 200-member lower house. The remainder is held by more conservative parties. In the 46-member upper house, the two parties hold just 12.
The Greens say that no taxpayer money should be used to support the merger and that bonuses for managers should be limited.
“Ultimately, CS failed because of a culture where the management took risks they couldn’t manage,” said Gerhard Andrey, a member of parliament’s budget commission for the Greens. “That exposed all of Switzerland as a financial centre. We need regulation now that top executives cannot shirk and run from their responsibilities.”
--With assistance from Dylan Griffiths.
(Updates with comment from political scientist in fourth paragraph)
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