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Glencore uses Ignazio Cassis for PR campaign

It is the first trip to Africa by foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis (FDP). The pictures of his first trip destination Zambia by surprise. Show Cassis not, for example, in an interview with Zambian President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, but on the site of the copper mine Mopani, a subsidiary of the Swiss commodity group Glencore. The Mine is being criticized worldwide for many years. Media and non-governmental organizations accuse the operators, and in order for Glencore to pay in Zambia no taxes to poison local residents and destroy the environment. Oliver Classen, spokesman for the NGO of the Public Eye, refers to an accountability report that Glencore had to publish due to an EU Directive. This is the raw material of the multi, the Zambian government confirmed to deliver taxes, not a cent of profit. "Glencore is today part of the problems of Zambia, not part of the solution," says Classen.

foreign Minister, Cassis, sees it differently. He liked what he saw in the Mopani Mine. "Impressed by the commitment to the modernization of the equipment and the training of the young," he wrote in a Tweet. A photo shows the Minister of foreign Affairs, as he entspannnt with a white helmet, yellow safety vest and Jeans on the grounds strolls.

The promotional tweet from Glencore. Photo: Twitter

The recording appealed to the members of Glencore. The raw materials group continued to spread until last night as a paid promotional tweet, and wrote: "The center uses the latest technology to students and staff." Glencore spokeswoman Sarah Antenore says: "We were pleased about the visit of Ignazio Cassis. With the Tweet, we wanted to show that the Team is making on-the-spot good work."

"Glencore has asked the Federal Council Cassis is not permission to publish the Tweet," says Cassis' spokesman Jean-Marc Crevoisier, of the accompanied the foreign Minister on the trip to Africa. He makes the group, but no accusation. If you use social media, you have to expect that Tweets would be used elsewhere, says Crevoisier. The proposal for the mine visit was made to the Department. Cassis then decided for themselves where he wants to make his trip to Africa, Crevoisier. In the Other he had seen with his own eyes that Glencore is investing in the NGOs heavily criticized the Mine considerably.

"Less good"

Cassis' Glencore-visit in a delicate Moment. The Parliament is currently discussing the corporate responsibility initiative. This obligation to protect business, people and the environment better. The national Council had adopted last June, an indirect counter-proposal that corresponds to the Wishes of the initiator. In February, the law Commission of the Council of States advises the business. Commodity companies such as Glencore operate for months of image advertising to reach even a moderate implementation of the Initiative. For Beat Gerber, a spokesman for Amnesty International Switzerland, has Cassis' visit to the Glencore-Mine "a bitter aftertaste".

the national Council Carlo Sommaruga (SP/GE) criticized Cassis: "I am deeply shocked." Cassis is External, not Minister of the economy. As foreign Minister, he should take priority to political relations, development cooperation and the observance of human rights and not a controversial group visit. SVP national councillor Roland Büchel finds the Tweet, while "less good", not criticized Cassis' visit to the Mine. You should always talk with the people. "It makes sense to form a opinion," the St. Galler.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 08.01.2019, 22:13 PM

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