Swiss voters appear to have backed proposals to impose strict controls on executive pay in a referendum.
Projected results say 68 per cent favour the plan to give shareholders a veto on compensation as well as banning big so-called ‘fat cat’ payouts for new and departing managers.
The new measures will give Switzerland some of the world’s strictest corporate rules – something which opponents argue will damage the country’s competitiveness.
“I think we should go further, I would rather have the Socialist initiative, which suggested paying the difference between the lowest salary and highest salary,” said one voter.
While another said: “I think it’s blackmail to say ‘Oh but if managers are better paid elsewhere they will leave.’ I just think we need international agreements to prevent that.”
Support for the vote was fired by anger over multi-billion euro losses by a Swiss bank and thousands of redundancies at pharmaceutical company Novartis, while high salaries and bonuses for managers continued unchanged.