A new bike, but nobody to pedal : a scandal ?

Buy new bikes for the soldiers while there isn’t biker in the Swiss army : a recent proposition, or rather an order, of Ueli Maurer. A strange idea which makes strongly react the public opinion.

After the Gripen, the famous futur fighter jet of the Swiss army, it is the turn of  the “Vélo 12″ to create the controversy. Ueli Maurer, federal councillor in charge of the Swiss Federal  Department of Defence, announced in May the impending purchase of 2800 new bikes called “Vélo 2012” for the Swiss army. An acquisition which will cost 7 millions of Swiss francs.  But, just a question: do you already have seen a soldier on a bike these last years? Probably not. Because, as reveal some media such as Le Matin, the Swiss army doesn’t have bikers troop since 2003 anymore.

A big controversy

This revelation immediately created the debate in the public opinion. Whether it is in the  street, in the media or in the social networks, lots of people wonder about the necessity of spending so much money for something which doesn’t seems useful.

In Twitter, the Internet users rapidly began to share articles about the topic and also didn’t hesitate to comment the information. Often with humor or irony :

People took also advantage of Facebook to transmit their points of view about the purchase of the “Vélo 12” :

Besides such an incomprehension on behalf of the Swiss citizens, Ueli Maurer also had to support critics from influent people, as for instance  the national councellior Eric Voruz. On an article published in Le Matin, he asserted  : «Ueli Maurer doit nous expliquer pourquoi il veut acheter autant de vélos, pourquoi aussi chers, et en plus de mauvaise qualité selon des fabricants de cycles, et quelle en est l’utilité en l’absence de troupes cyclistes dans l’armée suisse.»

Maurer tries to convince, incomprehension persists

Front of such an amount of critics, Ueli Maurer tried to justify its decision. On Forum, a broadcasting of the RTS, he assured the necessity of these new bikes for the soldiers’ travellings inside the barracks. A justification which didn’t satisfy the public opinion. Even some journalists and personalities of the media area began then to post some contents in the social networks.

On the Facebook page of its “Chronique satirique”, a RTS broadcasting, the radio presenter Pascal Bernheim published this photo :

And the next day, the “Cyclo-crosse” was published :

And Pascal Bernheim was not the only one to laugh about Ueli Maurer and its “Vélo 12”. Vincent Kucholl et Vincent Veillon, the two famous presenters of “120 secondes” on the RTS radio channel “La Première”, also took advantage of the history:

Thus, if there is one think we can be sure, it’s that a big part of the public opinion is opposed to the purchase of the “Vélo 12”. The amount of negativ reactions published on the social networks is a good proof of that. Then, front such an amount of protests, will Ueli Maurer finally change his mind? The bikes will normally be delivered in 2013. So, enemies of the “Vélo 12”, you have still a few months to change the trend !

And to end with a flourish :

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