Wine-Free Meetings Infuriate Geneva Politicians

Municipal finance committee meetings more palatable with wine
Wikimedia/Jon Sullivan

Geneva politicians might have to go without wine during their evening meetings from now on, and some of them are hopping mad about it.

According to The Local Switzerland, Socialist and committee head Alberto Velasco decided to stop serving wine at meetings of the Geneva municipal finance committee in an attempt to improve behavior, citing the way insults started flying as the bottles emptied.

"We are dealing with large amounts of money," he said. "By lowering the alcohol levels … we will be more deserving of the citizens' confidence."

Velasco might have been trying to stop the fighting, but by taking away the wine he might just have made everybody crankier. Meetings normally occurred over dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., which some of the politicians think is definitely too long to go without wine, especially when food is on the table.

"The committee president has decided to ban wine during the finance committee meals without informing anyone," wrote Daniel Sormani of the Geneva Citizens' Movement. He demanded the return of the bottles, and said the wineless meeting "shocked the vast majority of the committee."


The politicians didn’t even get that much alcohol to start with. The 15-person committee previously received two bottles of wine with the evening meal. But Velasco said that a large part of the committee didn't drink, so everyone who opted not to abstain got to have a few glasses, which was apparently enough to heat up the room.