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Ticket cheats in Switzerland soon to be listed in a national register

1 day ago

Tickets cannot be bought on public transport in Switzerland. Passengers are required to have a ticket before boarding. Those caught on public transport without one will soon have their names put into a national register. This will ensure progressively higher fines are issued to repeat offenders.
©_SBB_CFF_FFS – Click to enlarge
The new database will be rolled out from April 2019, reported RTS. By the end of 2019, the 250 odd members of CH-Direct, a public transport union, should be connected.
The system of increasing fines for repeat offenses is already in place, however, currently, if repeat offenses are spread across different transport operators, the fines don’t go up. The new nationwide database will fix this.

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Roger Federer becomes oldest world number one

3 days ago

The 36-year-old Swiss tennis player beat Robin Haase in the Rotterdam Open to replace 31-year-old Rafael Nadal at the top of the ranking.

[email protected] rewrites history in Rotterdam:
With his victory today, Federer has now surpassed Andre Agassi to become the oldest World No. 1 in ATP history!
🙌🇨🇭🐐🎾1️⃣
🎥: #USOpen pic.twitter.com/3ROFU0wfao
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) February 16, 2018

Federer has now surpassed eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi, who was 33 when he lost the number one spot in September 2003. The rankings will be updated on Monday shifting Federer from number two to number one.

36 years 195 days…@RogerFederer continues to raise the bar in our sport. Congratulations on yet another remarkable achievement!!
— Andre Agassi (@AndreAgassi) February 16, 2018

“This one

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Vaud – vote on divisive dental tax and care plan

3 days ago

On 4 March 2018, voters in Vaud will vote on a plan to provide basic universal dental care funded by a tax on salaries.

The initiative entitled: Reimbursement of dental care, Pour le remboursement des soins dentaires in French, claims that 10% of the population avoid the dentist because of the cost. They also claim links between poor dental health and cancer, diabetes and premature births. Their plan envisages the creation of a network of polyclinics that would provide basic dental care, but not orthodontics, crowns or dental implants.
Those opposed to it, which includes the canton’s association of dentists, claim the state of dental health in the canton is high and that the plan would exact a heavy cost on salary earners and taxpayers without covering many important dental treatments.
In

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Switzerland tops latest financial secrecy index

4 days ago

While Switzerland isn’t the most financially secretive nation in the Tax Justice Network’s recently published report, its combination of size and secrecy pushed it into first place, the worst rank in the Financial Secrecy Index 2018. Size is factored in because it measures the damage a nation’s financial secrecy has on the world, says The Tax Justice Network.
© Kevkhiev Yury _ Dreamstime.com
The underlying financial secrecy score is made up 20 Key Financial Secrecy Indicators, which include banking secrecy, company and partnership ownership records, anti-money laundering, information exchange and legal cooperation.
Before adjusting for size, the most financially secretive country is the island nation of Vanuatu (88.58). The least secretive is Slovenia (41.83). Switzerland, with a score of

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Switzerland tops latest financial secrecy index

4 days ago

While Switzerland isn’t the most financially secretive nation in the Tax Justice Network’s recently published report, its combination of size and secrecy pushed it into first place, the worst rank in the Financial Secrecy Index 2018. Size is factored in because it measures the damage a nation’s financial secrecy has on the world, says The Tax Justice Network.
© Kevkhiev Yury _ Dreamstime.com
The underlying financial secrecy score is made up 20 Key Financial Secrecy Indicators, which include banking secrecy, company and partnership ownership records, anti-money laundering, information exchange and legal cooperation.
Before adjusting for size, the most financially secretive country is the island nation of Vanuatu (88.58). The least secretive is Slovenia (41.83). Switzerland, with a score of

Read More »

Ticket cheats in Switzerland soon to be listed in a national register

4 days ago

Tickets cannot be bought on public transport in Switzerland. Passengers are required to have a ticket before boarding. Those caught on public transport without one will soon have their names put into a national register. This will ensure progressively higher fines are issued to repeat offenders.
©_SBB_CFF_FFS
The new database will be rolled out from April 2019, reported RTS. By the end of 2019, the 250 odd members of CH-Direct, a public transport union, should be connected.
The system of increasing fines for repeat offenses is already in place, however, currently, if repeat offenses are spread across different transport operators, the fines don’t go up. The new nationwide database will fix this.
On Swiss Rail, fines, described as surcharges, start at CHF 90, rising to CHF 130 for the

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Swiss real estate risk falls two quarters in a row, says UBS

10 days ago

The UBS Swiss Real Estate Bubble Index declined in the last quarter of 2017, the second quarterly decline in a row.
Prices are considered balanced when the index reaches zero. Between zero and 1 is considered a price boom, between 1 and 2 is considered at risk and above 2 a bubble. At the end of 2017 the index sat at 1.32, still in the zone where there is a risk of a price correction.
The recent fall was driven by slow growth in mortgage lending (+2.6%), considerably below the 10-year average of 3.8%. The bank did note that growth in mortgage lending might be underestimated. Insurers and pension fund have entered the mortgage market with guns blazing, however their lending reporting is inadequate, according to the

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Swiss real estate risk falls two quarters in a row, says UBS

12 days ago

The UBS Swiss Real Estate Bubble Index declined in the last quarter of 2017, the second quarterly decline in a row.
© Denis Linine _ Dreamstime.com
Prices are considered balanced when the index reaches zero. Between zero and 1 is considered a price boom, between 1 and 2 is considered at risk and above 2 a bubble. At the end of 2017 the index sat at 1.32, still in the zone where there is a risk of a price correction.
The recent fall was driven by slow growth in mortgage lending (+2.6%), considerably below the 10-year average of 3.8%. The bank did note that growth in mortgage lending might be underestimated. Insurers and pension fund have entered the mortgage market with guns blazing, however their lending reporting is inadequate, according to the bank.
Some parts of Switzerland remain at

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Swiss cross-border shopping not always worth it, says study

16 days ago

In 2015, Swiss residents made 24 million shopping trips abroad.

The average Swiss-based cross-border shopper travelled 69 kilometres to shop in a neighbouring country, 55 kilometres further than they did when shopping in Switzerland, according to a study published by Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse calculated that, on average, a cross-border shopper would need to spend at least CHF 274 per vehicle to make the journey economically worthwhile. This amount rises to an average of more than CHF 600 for those further inland. These figures were based on 2015 exchange rates. Now the numbers would be higher.
At the same time journey costs are estimated at CHF 0.73 per kilometre plus CHF 37 per hour, a measure of the opportunity

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Push to extend shop opening hours to 8pm in Geneva

18 days ago

The Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) in Geneva wants shopping hours in Geneva to be standardized and extended.
© Tea | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
In general, French-speaking Switzerland has stricter laws on opening hours that the rest of Switzerland. For example a Migros store in Zurich is open until 9pm every night except Sunday. A similar store in Geneva is only open until 9pm one day a week. The rest of the week it shuts between 6pm and 7:30pm.
Stéphane Florey from the UDC reckons this is one reason why Geneva residents take their money and spend it across the border in France – much of the canton is close to France, which stays open later. The Tribune de Genève wrote that according to Florey, store owners

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A quarter of Swiss workers stressed and exhausted, according to new research

19 days ago

Around a quarter of Swiss workers are stressed and exhausted, according to new research.
© Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
A three-year study by the University of Bern and Zurich University of Applied Sciences, which covers the period from 2014 to 2016, estimates that this stress and exhaustion cost Swiss companies between CHF 5 and CHF 5.8 billion a year.
The cost of sick days is only the tip of the iceberg. On-the-job inefficiency costs roughly twice as much as sick day absenteeism, says the report.
Job stress was defined as a job with time pressure, work uncertainty, organizational dysfunction, excessive work, or stress between staff and their boss or colleagues. Stress reducing aspects of

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Swiss cross-border shopping not always worth it, says study

19 days ago

In 2015, Swiss residents made 24 million shopping trips abroad.
© Viorel Dudau | Dreamstime.com
The average Swiss-based cross-border shopper travelled 69 kilometres to shop in a neighbouring country, 55 kilometres further than they did when shopping in Switzerland, according to a study published by Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse calculated that, on average, a cross-border shopper would need to spend at least CHF 274 per vehicle to make the journey economically worthwhile. This amount rises to an average of more than CHF 600 for those further inland. These figures were based on 2015 exchange rates. Now the numbers would be higher.
At the same time journey costs are estimated at CHF 0.73 per kilometre plus CHF 37 per hour, a measure of the opportunity cost of sitting behind the wheel. Not

Read More »

Push to extend shop opening hours to 8pm in Geneva

19 days ago

The Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) in Geneva wants shopping hours in Geneva to be standardized and extended.
© Tea | Dreamstime.com
In general, French-speaking Switzerland has stricter laws on opening hours that the rest of Switzerland. For example a Migros store in Zurich is open until 9pm every night except Sunday. A similar store in Geneva is only open until 9pm one day a week. The rest of the week it shuts between 6pm and 7:30pm.
Stéphane Florey from the UDC reckons this is one reason why Geneva residents take their money and spend it across the border in France – much of the canton is close to France, which stays open later. The Tribune de Genève wrote that according to Florey, store owners have requested this.
Pascal Vanderberghe, director of the book store Payot, told the newspaper

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A quarter of Swiss workers stressed and exhausted, according to new research

20 days ago

Around a quarter of Swiss workers are stressed and exhausted, according to new research.
© Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com
A three-year study by the University of Bern and Zurich University of Applied Sciences, which covers the period from 2014 to 2016, estimates that this stress and exhaustion cost Swiss companies between CHF 5 and CHF 5.8 billion a year.
The cost of sick days is only the tip of the iceberg. On-the-job inefficiency costs roughly twice as much as sick day absenteeism, says the report.
Job stress was defined as a job with time pressure, work uncertainty, organizational dysfunction, excessive work, or stress between staff and their boss or colleagues. Stress reducing aspects of work included adequate resources, room to manoeuvre, globality of the task, support from

Read More »

Swiss fact: nearly half of Swiss rental properties owned by individuals

21 days ago

If you rent a home in Switzerland it is more likely to belong to an individual than a big real estate company or pension fund.
© Kevkhiev Yury | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
In 2017, 49% of residential rental properties in Switzerland were owned by individuals, according to Statistics published by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.
The highest rate of rental home ownership by individuals was in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino (71%). The lowest rate was in the Lake Geneva region (41%).
The Mittelland region (56%), central region (52%), eastern region (50%), north-west region (48%), which contains Basel, and Zurich (45%) all had rates between these two extremes.
Large rental homes (57%) were more likely

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Swiss fact: nearly half of Swiss rental properties owned by individuals

21 days ago

If you rent a home in Switzerland it is more likely to belong to an individual than a big real estate company or pension fund.
© Kevkhiev Yury | Dreamstime.com
In 2017, 49% of residential rental properties in Switzerland were owned by individuals, according to Statistics published by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.
The highest rate of rental home ownership by individuals was in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino (71%). The lowest rate was in the Lake Geneva region (41%).
The Mittelland region (56%), central region (52%), eastern region (50%), north-west region (48%), which contains Basel, and Zurich (45%) all had rates between these two extremes.
Large rental homes (57%) were more likely to be owned by individuals than small ones (49%) – large was defined as 5 to 6 rooms. Small as

Read More »

Swiss fact: nearly half of Swiss rental properties owned by individuals

21 days ago

If you rent a home in Switzerland it is more likely to belong to an individual than a big real estate company or pension fund.
© Kevkhiev Yury | Dreamstime.com
In 2017, 49% of residential rental properties in Switzerland were owned by individuals, according to Statistics published by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.
The highest rate of rental home ownership by individuals was in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino (71%). The lowest rate was in the Lake Geneva region (41%).
The Mittelland region (56%), central region (52%), eastern region (50%), north-west region (48%), which contains Basel, and Zurich (45%) all had rates between these two extremes.
Large rental homes (57%) were more likely to be owned by individuals than small ones (49%) – large was defined as 5 to 6 rooms. Small as

Read More »

Income inequality in Switzerland remains stable after redistribution

24 days ago

Income inequality in Switzerland has remained stable according to a report published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office.
© Arturo Osorno _ Dreamstime.com
A key measure of inequality involves dividing the income share of the top 20% by that of the bottom 20%, a measure known as S80/S20. 1 is complete equality.
In 2015, the latest figure, the S80/S20 for Switzerland was 38.2, which means the top 20% had 38.2 times the income of the bottom 20%. This however was before tax and other redistribution.
After the redistributive effects of tax and welfare, the ratio dropped from 38.2 to 4.8. As a result, the income share of the bottom 20% rose from 1.2% to 7.8%, and the share of those in the top 20% slid from 44.5% to 37.2%. The share of the 60% in the middle remained roughly the same:

Read More »

Income inequality in Switzerland remains stable after redistribution

24 days ago

Income inequality in Switzerland has remained stable according to a report published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office.
© Arturo Osorno _ Dreamstime.com
A key measure of inequality involves dividing the income share of the top 20% by that of the bottom 20%, a measure known as S80/S20. 1 is complete equality.
In 2015, the latest figure, the S80/S20 for Switzerland was 38.2, which means the top 20% had 38.2 times the income of the bottom 20%. This however was before tax and other redistribution.
After the redistributive effects of tax and welfare, the ratio dropped from 38.2 to 4.8. As a result, the income share of the bottom 20% rose from 1.2% to 7.8%, and the share of those in the top 20% slid from 44.5% to 37.2%. The share of the 60% in the middle remained roughly the same:

Read More »

Income inequality in Switzerland remains stable after redistribution

24 days ago

Income inequality in Switzerland has remained stable according to a report published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office.
© Arturo Osorno _ Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
A key measure of inequality involves dividing the income share of the top 20% by that of the bottom 20%, a measure known as S80/S20. 1 is complete equality.
In 2015, the latest figure, the S80/S20 for Switzerland was 38.2, which means the top 20% had 38.2 times the income of the bottom 20%. This however was before tax and other redistribution.
After the redistributive effects of tax and welfare, the ratio dropped from 38.2 to 4.8. As a result, the income share of the bottom 20% rose from 1.2% to 7.8%, and the share of those in the top

Read More »

New poll on vote to axe Swiss broadcast fee suggests rejection

25 days ago

A poll run by the media group Tamedia shows a clear majority in favour of rejecting the initiative, dubbed “No Billag”, which aims to end Switzerland’s broadcasting fee. This poll follows one done in December 2017, which showed a majority in favour of the initiative.
© Jakkapan Jabjainai | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
In December 57% were either fully or quite in favour of voting yes. This time the same percentage is 40%, with 59% saying they are fully or quite in favour of rejecting it.
There are modest variations across the country. More in the French- (63%) and Italian-speaking (58%) regions favour retaining the current system than those in German-speaking Switzerland (57%).
French and Italian broadcasting

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New poll on vote to axe Swiss broadcast fee suggests rejection

25 days ago

A poll run by the media group Tamedia shows a clear majority in favour of rejecting the initiative, dubbed “No Billag”, which aims to end Switzerland’s broadcasting fee. This poll follows one done in December 2017, which showed a majority in favour of the initiative.
© Jakkapan Jabjainai | Dreamstime.com
In December 57% were either fully or quite in favour of voting yes. This time the same percentage is 40%, with 59% saying they are fully or quite in favour of rejecting it.
There are modest variations across the country. More in the French- (63%) and Italian-speaking (58%) regions favour retaining the current system than those in German-speaking Switzerland (57%).
French and Italian broadcasting is cross-subsidized by German-speakers, so these regions have more to lose.
In the recent

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Budget busting burgers – Swiss franc still the most overvalued

27 days ago

The Economist has just published its January 2018 Big Mac index, a light-hearted measure of whether currencies are under or overvalued. The underlying assumption is that a Big Mac is the same whether bought in Kiev or Chur, so any price difference must be due to the exchange rate.
© Sergiomonti _ Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
In January 2018, Swiss Big Macs were still the world’s most expensive, making the Swiss franc the most overvalued currency, 28.1% higher than it should be. The implied exchange rate is 1.23 Swiss francs to 1 US dollar.
A key criticism of the index is that it ignores wage differences. To correct for this the Economist has an adjusted index, which factors in GDP per capita. After this

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Swiss fact: health insurance premiums cover only 37percent of Swiss healthcare costs

27 days ago

Figures published in 2017 show that only 37% of Swiss healthcare costs were covered by basic compulsory health insurance premiums.
© Ognjen Stevanovic | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
The remaining cost was covered by the government (20%), accident and social insurance (10%), private complementary health insurance (7%), charity (1%) and out-of-pocket spending by individuals (26%).
Compulsory Swiss health insurance requires policy holders to pay 10% of the first CHF 7,000 of costs reimbursed 1. In addition, those with deductibles must cover 100% of their medical costs up to the deductible amount before their insurance kicks in. These payments are included in out-of-pocket spending in the chart above.
Overall,

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Budget busting burgers – Swiss franc still the most overvalued

28 days ago

The Economist has just published its January 2018 Big Mac index, a light-hearted measure of whether currencies are under or overvalued. The underlying assumption is that a Big Mac is the same whether bought in Kiev or Chur, so any price difference must be due to the exchange rate.
© Sergiomonti _ Dreamstime.com
In January 2018, Swiss Big Macs were still the world’s most expensive, making the Swiss franc the most overvalued currency, 28.1% higher than it should be. The implied exchange rate is 1.23 Swiss francs to 1 US dollar.
A key criticism of the index is that it ignores wage differences. To correct for this the Economist has an adjusted index, which factors in GDP per capita. After this adjustment the Swiss franc is only 8.1% overvalued, pushing it down to the 11th most overvalued

Read More »

Swiss fact: health insurance premiums cover only 37% of Swiss healthcare costs

29 days ago

Figures published in 2017 show that only 37% of Swiss healthcare costs were covered by basic compulsory health insurance premiums.
© Ognjen Stevanovic | Dreamstime.com
The remaining cost was covered by the government (20%), accident and social insurance (10%), private complementary health insurance (7%), charity (1%) and out-of-pocket spending by individuals (26%).

Compulsory Swiss health insurance requires policy holders to pay 10% of the first CHF 7,000 of costs reimbursed 1. In addition, those with deductibles must cover 100% of their medical costs up to the deductible amount before their insurance kicks in. These payments are included in out-of-pocket spending in the chart above.
Overall, households covered 62% of their healthcare costs. Federal (6%), cantonal (22%) and municipal

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Swiss rents could fall 10%, says UBS

January 19, 2018

In a report published today entitled: rents losing altitude, UBS says asking rents for apartments will probably drop by up to 10% over the next three years.
© Rosshelen | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
Competition in the rental market is getting even fiercer. By mid-2017, 2.4% of all rental apartments were vacant. This level was last exceeded in 1998, when 2.8% of rental apartments stood empty, says the bank.
Higher rental vacancy rates, expected to hit an all time high of 3% in 2019, are driving down rents, according to UBS. Offered rents currently exceed existing rents by approximately 20%. When vacancies rise as sharply as they have today, to levels last seen in the early 1970s and 1990s, this difference

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Swiss rents could fall 10%, says UBS

January 18, 2018

In a report published today entitled: rents losing altitude, UBS says asking rents for apartments will probably drop by up to 10% over the next three years.
© Rosshelen | Dreamstime.com
Competition in the rental market is getting even fiercer. By mid-2017, 2.4% of all rental apartments were vacant. This level was last exceeded in 1998, when 2.8% of rental apartments stood empty, says the bank.
Higher rental vacancy rates, expected to hit an all time high of 3% in 2019, are driving down rents, according to UBS. Offered rents currently exceed existing rents by approximately 20%. When vacancies rise as sharply as they have today, to levels last seen in the early 1970s and 1990s, this difference typically gets eroded.
“Without a clear change in construction activity trends or a new

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Swiss fact: nearly 50 percent of Swiss GDP comes from 4 cantons

January 16, 2018

Switzerland is made up of 26 cantons – technically six are half cantons1 – each with its own distinct taxes, education system, hospitals and government.

© Anna Hristova | Dreamstime.com

Land area varies significantly, from 37 sq/km Basel-Stadt to 7,105 sq/km Graubünden.
Population is also highly varied, from tiny Appenzell Innerrhoden (16k) up to Zurich with nearly 1.5 million.
Unsurprisingly, the range of economic output is wide too. Ranging from Zurich (141 billion) down to Appenzell Innerrhoden (1 billion). In 2015, Zurich (140b), Bern (78b), Vaud (52b) and Geneva (47b) together generated GDP of 317 billion, 49% of Switzerland’s total.
At the same time these big-four cantons were home to 45% of the nation’s

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Swiss fact: nearly 50% of Swiss GDP comes from 4 cantons

January 15, 2018

Switzerland is made up of 26 cantons – technically six are half cantons1 – each with its own distinct taxes, education system, hospitals and government.
© Anna Hristova | Dreamstime.com
Land area varies significantly, from 37 sq/km Basel-Stadt to 7,105 sq/km Graubünden.
Population is also highly varied, from tiny Appenzell Innerrhoden (16k) up to Zurich with nearly 1.5 million.
Unsurprisingly, the range of economic output is wide too. Ranging from Zurich (141 billion) down to Appenzell Innerrhoden (1 billion). In 2015, Zurich (140b), Bern (78b), Vaud (52b) and Geneva (47b) together generated GDP of 317 billion, 49% of Switzerland’s total.
At the same time these big-four cantons were home to 45% of the nation’s population.
Cantons punching above their weight on a per-capita-GDP-basis were

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