Federal Councilor Alain Bursett did not want Swisscom to build a 4G antenna too close to the family home.
Adrien SchnaarenbergerJournalist Blick
A cellular antenna near his home? Federal Councilor Ellen Bursett (50) didn’t like it at all. The Minister of Health opposed the construction of branches in his home town of Belfox FR. Evidenced by the documents that have access to the Friborg 5G rival Chantal Blanc (44 years old) on the basis of cantonal public law. You are the current scene.
In 2018, Swisscom wanted to build an antenna about 180 meters from Burset’s home. At the time, it was still a 4G antenna, which the company could in the meantime upgrade to 5G. The Federal Council, his wife, his mother and another relative opposed the construction.
Other residents did the same. Unlike others who wanted to stop construction, Bursett didn’t just sign the list of affected residents, but sent his letter to the community.
“Harmful Effects on Humans and Animals”
In the letter, the Federal Council puts forward six arguments: in addition to the chosen location – schools and nurseries are nearby, among other things – a loss of landscape and built fabric, damage to health is also invoked. “Technologically generated electromagnetic waves, especially those emanating from cellphone technology, have harmful effects on humans and animals,” Burset writes.
It’s a phrase that not only makes 5G critics stand blank and take notice. As interior minister, Burset heads the Federal Office of Public Health, which is also responsible for radiation protection. On an information page intended for the population, the BAG and other federal offices reassure worried citizens: radiation “can heat body tissues to very high intensities,” it says. However, the internationally recommended limit value, which also applies to Switzerland, protects against excessive exposure.
Qualified statement from Bersett’s spokesperson
Asked about the health concerns of the Minister of Health, his spokesman, Cristian Favre, put it into perspective. These are not the main arguments of the letter signed by Burset. The main thing is rather that the place chosen for construction is considered unsuitable. Furthermore, Bursett simply pointed out in the letter that “proper compliance with radiation standards is essential”, as this can rule out health risks. This condition is given.
In fact, Bursett objected that meeting radiation standards was essential. However, he also writes that it should be borne in mind that in the future the issue values may be adjusted upwards.
Swisscom has decided not to manufacture
Beret’s resistance worked. Swisscom has decided not to manufacture antennas in Belfox. Much to the surprise of 5G rival Blank.
It has already filed objections in dozens of cases and even gone to federal court to block the manufacture of cellphone antennas, she says. He has never seen Swisscom abandon a project as easily as Belfox. It’s important for the 5G rival to stress that it’s not accusing Beresheet of anything wrong. On the contrary, she thanks him “for his resistance”.
It is suspected that the major objection caused the public company to abandon the antenna project. When questioned, Swisscom denied. “We have changed locations due to a negative review from the Office of Cultural Heritage,” spokeswoman Alicia Richone told Blick. The protection of monuments must be the reason.
a special case
However, Swisscom acknowledges that it is very unusual that the company does not manufacture the planned antenna. As a general rule, submitted building applications are honored, as long as a project does not violate public law provisions, the spokesperson said. The objections caused “more and more delays in the projects”.
Was it otherwise when a federal councilor objects to it? “Coincidence”, says Swisscom.