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Most Swiss prefer home grown eggs, meat and dairy

2 days ago

© Swisshippo | Dreamstime.com Recently published statistics suggest most Swiss prefer home grown animal products. Three quarters (75%) of those surveyed said they preferred Swiss eggs and more than half preferred Swiss meat (51%) and dairy products (59%). Reasons for preferring local animal products were to support local farmers (nearly 25%), low food miles (15%) …

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Most Swiss prefer home grown eggs, meat and dairy

5 days ago

Recently published statistics suggest most Swiss prefer home grown animal products.

© Swisshippo | Dreamstime.comThree quarters (75%) of those surveyed said they preferred Swiss eggs and more than half preferred Swiss meat (51%) and dairy products (59%).

Reasons for preferring local animal products were to support local farmers (nearly 25%), low food miles (15%) and product quality (15%).

40% considered Swiss agriculture to be trustworthy and 33% thought it was customer centred.

However, only 15% were convinced it was competitive and only 22% unequivocally thought it respected the environment. The percentage strongly agreeing that Swiss produce respected the environment fell 11 points from 33% to 22%.

The survey, done by Demoscope in January 2019, was based on 1,006

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40% of over 50s in Switzerland want to work beyond retirement, suggests survey

5 days ago

40% of workers currently aged between 50 and 64 would like to continue working beyond retirement age, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte.

© Kurhan | Dreamstime.comSwitzerland’s growing demographic imbalance is not only putting pressure on Switzerland’s social security system but also reducing its pool of labour. According to UBS, by 2030, the Swiss labour market will face a shortfall of between 230,000 and 500,000 workers.

Labour market participation decreases significantly starting at 60. Many older workers are leaving the labour market before statutory retirement age, even if a majority are doing so voluntarily. The 65-69 year-old age group have a relatively low participation in Switzerland (23%) compared to the OECD average (27%).

Deloitte Switzerland surveyed of

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Unemployment rises in Switzerland but falls across the EU

5 days ago

Switzerland’s low unemployment rate is the envy of many EU countries. However, in the third quarter of 2019, Switzerland underperformed the EU.

© Suriel Ramirez Zaldivar | Dreamstime.comRecent statistics show Switzerland’s overall rate of unemployment in the third quarter rose from 4.2% (Q3 2018) to 4.6% (Q3 2019) – these figures are based on the International Labour Organisation definition of unemployment. The lower measure typically used in Switzerland includes only those still registered with the unemployment office.

The same unemployment figures for the EU (EU-28) were 6.5% (Q3 2018) and 6.2% (Q3 2019).

In contrast to Switzerland’s worsening unemployment figures was a rise in the percentage of its population working (+0.3%).

More detailed employment figures suggest where

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Parts of Switzerland becoming too hot for middle eastern tourists

5 days ago

While the latest statistics show a rise in the number of tourists visiting Switzerland over the summer, tourist numbers from some countries fell significantly.

© Narith Thongphasuk | Dreamstime.comOverall, the number of visitors to Switzerland in June, July and August rose by 3.9% compared to 2018. However, the numbers from Saudi Arabia (-8.7%) and the UAE (-13.4%) were down significantly in 2019.

Some tourism experts think high summer temperatures are to blame. Many middle eastern tourists go on holiday to escape blistering heat at home. Reports in the media of heatwaves in Switzerland are therefore dissuading travellers from these hot places, they say.

The Swiss regions where middle eastern summer tourist numbers were hit hardest in 2019 are Montreux (-28%), Geneva (-5%),

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More than 100 members of Extinction Rebellion convicted in Switzerland

11 days ago

Extinction Rebellion Switzerland’s Facebook cover photo
In September 2019, groups of people belonging to the group Extinction Rebellion blocked two road bridges in Lausanne.
Local police cleared the bridges by removing, in some cases carrying, protesters away.
On 7 November 2019, 117 of the people involved in the bridge protests were convicted and fined for breaking Switzerland’s penal code, according to RTS. One person was convicted of violence and the rest of obstruction.
Convicted members of the group contacted by the newspaper 24 Heures, said they planned to challenge their convictions in court.
In addition, the newspaper mentioned a possible protest at Geneva Airport on Saturday 16 November 2019, however any plans for an airport protest by the group remain

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French-speaking cantons biggest winners from next year’s fiscal transfers

12 days ago

The amount of money paid by “rich” cantons to “poor” ones will rise by CHF 61 million to CHF 5.3 billion in 2020, according to a recent government press release.

© Swisshippo | Dreamstime.com The only French-speaking canton paying will be Geneva. All of the rest will see the sums they receive rise compared to 2019. In 2020, Geneva will pay CHF 275 million, down slightly from the CHF 300 million it paid in 2019.

In 2020, the canton of Fribourg will receive CHF 387 million (CHF 381 million in 2019), Vaud CHF 72 million (CHF 66 million in 2019), Valais CHF 759 million (CHF 730 million in 2019), Neuchâtel CHF 238 million (CHF 173 million in 2019) and the Jura CHF 168 million (CHF 166 million in 2019).

Bern will receive less in 2020: CHF 1.10 billion compared to CHF 1.19 billion in

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Drug spending continues to explode in Switzerland

12 days ago

Last week, the government announced that it had shaved CHF 100 million off the cost of drug purchases from 1 January 2020.

© Vitaly Iskakov | Dreamstime.com This week numbers obtained by RTS from Curafutura, a health insurance association, show drug spending rose CHF 420 million from CHF 6.9 billion to CHF 7 billion between October 2018 and September 2019 and the same period 12 month a year before.

Over the last five years spending on drugs has risen 26%. Savings are not keeping up with runaway costs.

The challenge is twofold. The government says that new expensive treatments are constantly being added, new cancer treatments in particular. According to Andreas Schiesser, a spokesperson for Curafutura, the discounts demanded by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) are too

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Negative rates might go lower, says Swiss National Bank chairman

12 days ago

Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Swiss National Bank
Thomas Jordan, chairman of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper recently that central bank interest rates might need to go further into negative territory.
Responding to growing criticism of negative central bank interest rates, Jordan said negative interest rates could continue and a further reduction is possible.
The SNB did not introduce negative interest rates to harm people, said the SNB chairman. However, he still considers the Swiss franc to be highly valued.
Jordan rejected the idea that the public might withdraw their money from banks if interest rates fall further. He thinks the costs and risks associated with storing cash are higher than the costs of current negative

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Geneva to ban Uber if it doesn’t change its operating model

13 days ago

© Oleksandr Lutsenko | Dreamstime.com After a legal analyis the government of the canton of Geneva has decided that drivers of the ride hailing service are employees rather than independent contractors, effectively banning Uber from operating under its current model. In an interview with RTS, Mauro Poggia, a lawyer and Geneva state councillor, said that …

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More than 100 members of Extinction Rebellion convicted in Switzerland

13 days ago

In September 2019, groups of people belonging to the environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion blocked two road bridges in Lausanne.

Extinction Rebellion Switzerland’s Facebook cover photoLocal police cleared the bridges by removing, in some cases carrying, protesters away.

On 7 November 2019, 117 of the people involved in the bridge protests were convicted and fined for breaking Switzerland’s penal code, according to RTS. One person was convicted of violence and the rest of obstruction.

Convicted members of the group contacted by the newspaper 24 Heures, said they planned to challenge their convictions in court.

In addition, the newspaper mentioned a possible protest at Geneva Airport on Saturday 16 November 2019, however any plans for an airport protest by the group

Read More »

Geneva to ban Uber if it doesn’t change its operating model

13 days ago

After a legal analyis the government of the canton of Geneva has decided that drivers of the ride hailing service are employees rather than independent contractors, effectively banning Uber from operating under its current model.

© Oleksandr Lutsenko | Dreamstime.com In an interview with RTS, Mauro Poggia, a lawyer and Geneva state councillor, said that Uber is a transport company and as such must employ its drivers.

Employees are treated differently to contractors. One of the key differences is that employers must enroll employees in public and private pensions and unemployment insurance. Contractors, on the other hand, get paid according to their contract and must take care of their own pensions and unemployment insurance.

Uber disagrees with the government’s analysis. It

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Negative rates might go lower, says Swiss National Bank chairman

13 days ago

Thomas Jordan, chairman of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper recently that central bank interest rates might need to go further into negative territory.

Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Swiss National Bank Responding to growing criticism of negative central bank interest rates, Jordan said negative interest rates could continue and a further reduction is possible.

The SNB did not introduce negative interest rates to harm people, said the SNB chairman. However, he still considers the Swiss franc to be highly valued.

Jordan rejected the idea that the public might withdraw their money from banks if interest rates fall further. He thinks the costs and risks associated with storing cash are higher than the costs of current negative interest rates.

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Swiss government cuts drug prices by 100 million francs

18 days ago

© Tero Vesalainen Dreamstime.com Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) recently announced it had reduced the price Swiss healthcare providers and patients will pay for 257 drugs by 16.3%. These lower prices, which take affect on 1 December 2019, are expected to save CHF 100 million annually. The FOPH looked at the prices of …

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Minimum Swiss internet speed to triple in 2020

18 days ago

© Andrey Metelev | Dreamstime.com The Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive, has confirmed a decision made by parliament to raise the minimum speed of broadband internet connections in Switzerland. From 1 January 2020, the minimum download speed specified in Switzerland’s universal service agreement with Swisscom will rise from 3 to 10 megabits per second (Mbits/s) and …

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Swiss commission supports new laws to protect whistleblowers

19 days ago

A commission of the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, is in favour of new rules to protect whistleblowers.

© Shawn Hempel | Dreamstime.comThe proposed rules, which would help to protect those who expose secretive information or activity that is deemed illegal or unethical, were supported by 6 commission votes to 2 with 4 abstentions.

The proposal, which would be incorporated into employment law, would follow the cascade principle put forward by the Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive.

The cascade whistle blowing procedure would start with the employee alerting the employer, then the authorities, with disclosure to the public reserved as a last resort.

In addition, companies would be required to have a team tasked with receiving and dealing with alerts. This

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Swiss commission supports new laws to protect whistleblowers

19 days ago

© Shawn Hempel | Dreamstime.com A commission of the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, is in favour of new rules to protect whistleblowers. The proposed rules, which would help to protect those who expose secretive information or activity that is deemed illegal or unethical, were supported by 6 commission votes to 2 with 4 …

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Swiss parliamentary commission supports fuel tax hike

19 days ago

The parliamentary environmental commission has endorsed a plan to increase the taxes on fuel in Switzerland.

© Tuayai | Dreamstime.comFollowing support for a fuel tax increase by the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, the commission said it supports a rise of 10 cents a litre until 2024 and 12 cents a litre from 2025.

These increases are lower than those included in some other proposals. However, the commission decided these increases were appropriate in the context of all of the other elements of Switzerland’s plan to curb emissions.

More on this:Commission press release (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now

For more stories like this on Switzerland follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Swiss government cuts drug prices by 100 million francs

20 days ago

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) recently announced it had reduced the price Swiss healthcare providers and patients will pay for 257 drugs by 16.3%.

© Tero Vesalainen Dreamstime.comThese lower prices, which take affect on 1 December 2019, are expected to save CHF 100 million annually.

The FOPH looked at the prices of 478 drugs and achieved price reductions on 257 (54%) of them.

The government has promised to cut healthcare costs via a range of measures including improved negotiations with healthcare providers, reference prices for generic drugs and greater price transparency. 

Swiss healthcare is expensive and most of it is paid directly by individuals (69%). Only the US has a more expensive healthcare system, according to Switzerland’s Federal

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Minimum Swiss internet speed to triple in 2020

20 days ago

The Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive, has confirmed a decision made by parliament to raise the minimum speed of broadband internet connections in Switzerland.

© Andrey Metelev | Dreamstime.comFrom 1 January 2020, the minimum download speed specified in Switzerland’s universal service agreement with Swisscom will rise from 3 to 10 megabits per second (Mbits/s) and the minimum upload speed will rise from 0.3 to 1 Mbit/s.

The change aims to boost social and economic activities that are underpinned by the internet.

Swisscom, which owns and manages much of the infrastructure that ultimately determines internet speeds, will be required to make the necessary changes required to deliver these new minimum speeds.

Swisscom, which is 51% owned by the federal government, agreed

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Swiss central bank makes 388 million from negative interest rates

25 days ago

Swiss National Bank – © J0hnb0y | Dreamstime.com
The Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central bank, has earned CHF 388 million from negative interest rates since introducing them in 2014 to tame the rising strength of the Swiss Franc, according to the newspaper SonntagsBlick.
On 15 January 2015, the SNB announced that it was abandoning its policy of maintaining an exchange rate cap of 1.20 francs to 1.00 euro. At the same time it increased negative interest on sight deposits from -0.25% to -0.75%.
On one hand negative interest rates are beneficial. They generate additional income for the SNB, some of which finds its way to cantonal governments, while reducing the cost of servicing government debt. In addition, they help exporters by putting downward

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Swiss remain the richest in 2019

25 days ago

© Marekusz | Dreamstime.com According to a recent report by the bank Credit Suisse, the Swiss are worth more on average than the residents of any other nation. The bank’s annual Global Wealth Report calculates average net worth per Swiss adult to be US$ 564,653 (CHF 560,643) at mid-2019. The median figure was US$ 227,891 …

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Swiss remain world’s richest in 2019

26 days ago

According to a recent report by the bank Credit Suisse, the Swiss are worth more on average than the residents of any other nation. The bank’s annual Global Wealth Report calculates average net worth per Swiss adult to be US$ 564,653 (CHF 560,643) at mid-2019. The median figure was US$ 227,891 (CHF 226,273).

© Marekusz | Dreamstime.com Switzerland’s combined personal wealth of US$ 3.9 trillion represents 1.1% of the global total, while the nation’s population represents 0.1% of the global total.

The wealth figures include real estate but excludes 2nd pillar pension wealth.

Since 2000, wealth per adult in Switzerland has risen by 144%. The country heads the global ranking this year, as it has in every other year, disregarding small countries like Iceland, for which the data is

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Swiss central bank makes 388 million from negative interest rates

26 days ago

The Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central bank, has earned CHF 388 million from negative interest rates since introducing them in 2014 to tame the rising strength of the Swiss Franc, according to the newspaper SonntagsBlick.

Swiss National Bank – © J0hnb0y | Dreamstime.com On 15 January 2015, the SNB announced that it was abandoning its policy of maintaining an exchange rate cap of 1.20 francs to 1.00 euro. At the same time it increased negative interest on sight deposits from -0.25% to -0.75%.

On one hand negative interest rates are beneficial. They generate additional income for the SNB, some of which finds its way to cantonal governments, while reducing the cost of servicing government debt. In addition, they help exporters by putting downward pressure on the Swiss

Read More »

Raising Switzerland’s retirement age – big differences of opinion

October 19, 2019

© Vadimgozhda | Dreamstime.com Switzerland’s government has long discussed the importance of raising the retirement age to ensure the financial viability of the pension system. However, it is not clear whether voters would support such a plan. According to a survey by Deloitte, an accounting and consulting company, raising the official retirement age might not …

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Referendum to ban tobacco advertising in Switzerland reaches 100,000 signatures

October 18, 2019

An initiative demanding a ban on tobacco advertising has collected 109,969 valid signatures, more than the 100,000 minimum required to launch a popular vote, according to RTS.
The planned vote entitled: “Yes to the protection of children and young people against tobacco advertising” demands the federal government ban all forms of tobacco advertising towards children and young people.
In practice such a ban would include banning all tobacco advertising in public places, in cinemas, at festivals and on the internet.
57% of smokers start when they are children, according to the Swiss Medical Federation, which supports the initiative. If children don’t start smoking when they are young they are unlikely to smoke as adults.
In addition, tobacco use costs Switzerland 5

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Raising Switzerland’s retirement age – big differences of opinion

October 17, 2019

Switzerland’s government has long discussed the importance of raising the retirement age to ensure the financial viability of the pension system. However, it is not clear whether voters would support such a plan.

© Vadimgozhda | Dreamstime.comAccording to a survey by Deloitte, an accounting and consulting company, raising the official retirement age might not find majority support among Swiss voters. Some groups are firmly against the idea.

Only 47% of the 1,000 voters between 50 and 70 surveyed supported raising the retirement age of women from 64 to 65 to bring it into line with that for men.

And while 50 to 70 year olds only make up only 36% of the population, they are more likely to vote and so represent a higher percentage of active voters.

The overall figure of 47% hides

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Climate change could cause a billion francs of infrastructure damage a year in Switzerland

October 17, 2019

Climate change could soon cost Switzerland up to a billion francs a year in damage to infrastructure, according to an estimate by Switzerland’s Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC).

© Stefano Ember | Dreamstime.comBetween now and 2050, higher temperatures and irregular rainfall could reduce the amount of electricity produced by Switzerland’s hydroelectric infrastructure by several hundred million francs a year, according to Christian Jaag, an expert advising the government.

In addition, heavy rain, floods and subsidence could cause hundreds of millions of francs of damage to roads and rail infrastructure every year.

Furthermore, extreme heat could lead to a need to build more heat resistant roads and regularly run trains at lower

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Referendum to ban tobacco advertising in Switzerland reaches 100,000 signatures

October 17, 2019

An initiative demanding a ban on tobacco advertising has collected 109,969 valid signatures, more than the 100,000 minimum required to launch a popular vote, according to RTS.

The planned vote entitled: “Yes to the protection of children and young people against tobacco advertising” demands the federal government ban all forms of tobacco advertising towards children and young people.

In practice such a ban would include banning all tobacco advertising in public places, in cinemas, at festivals and on the internet.

57% of smokers start when they are children, according to the Swiss Medical Federation, which supports the initiative. If children don’t start smoking when they are young they are unlikely to smoke as adults.

In addition, tobacco use costs Switzerland 5 billion

Read More »