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Euro gains against Swiss franc on French election result

2 days ago

The official French presidential election results place Emmanuel Macron (23.8%) and Marine Le Pen (21.5%) in first and second places in the first round of the French presidential race. The run off between these two will take place on 7 May 2017, when most forecasters expect Macron to win and become France’s next president.

How votes are expected to split between MACRON and LE PEN in the 2nd round. This according to Ifop polling on Friday: #Presidentielle2017 pic.twitter.com/OzW5EFGXiI
— Hannah Murphy (@MsHannahMurphy) April 23, 2017
© Filmfoto | Dreamstime.com
The result of Sunday’s vote has been received positively by the financial markets, as the risk of France leaving the EU or Euro has receded, with only one

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Euro gains against Swiss franc on French election result

2 days ago

The official French presidential election results place Emmanuel Macron (23.8%) and Marine Le Pen (21.5%) in first and second places in the first round of the French presidential race. The run off between these two will take place on 7 May 2017, when most forecasters expect Macron to win and become France’s next president.

How votes are expected to split between MACRON and LE PEN in the 2nd round. This according to Ifop polling on Friday: #Presidentielle2017 pic.twitter.com/OzW5EFGXiI
— Hannah Murphy (@MsHannahMurphy) April 23, 2017

The result of Sunday’s vote has been received positively by the financial markets, as the risk of France leaving the EU or Euro has receded, with only one populist candidate now in the race.
© Filmfoto | Dreamstime.com
According to Bloomberg, the CHF:EUR

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Swiss employers continue to discriminate against over 50s

4 days ago

Travail Suisse, an association representing Swiss employees, highlights once more the age discrimination faced by those over 50 in the Swiss job market.
In March 2017, 26.8% of unemployed in the this age group had been without work for more than a year, compared to 2.3% of those between 15 and 24 and 14.1% of those aged 25 to 49.
According to RTS, the unemployed over 50 take twice as long to find a new job. The number expected to join their ranks is forecast to rise by 75% over the next 10 years, partly because the number of workers above 50 will swell as baby boomers reach this age.
In addition, official numbers underestimate the problem. Those who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits, usually because they have

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Close to a fifth of Swiss workers think corruption widespread, says survey

5 days ago

© Mudretsov Oleksandr | Dreamstime.com A survey conducted by the advisory firm EY shows a rise in perceived corruption in the workplace in Switzerland. 18% of workers surveyed by the firm in Switzerland now think bribery and corruption are widespread in the country. While high this figure is well below the 33% average for Western …

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Close to a fifth of Swiss workers think corruption widespread, says survey

5 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A survey conducted by the advisory firm EY shows a rise in perceived corruption in the workplace in Switzerland. 18% of workers surveyed by the firm in Switzerland now think bribery and corruption are widespread in the country. While high this figure is well below the 33% average for Western Europe and the 51% average […]

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Big bonuses contrast big losses at Credit Suisse, despite bonus haircuts

6 days ago

The management of Credit Suisse Credit Suisse reduced their bonuses by 40% after severe criticism from shareholders. The reduction amounts to around CHF 20 million. Some are still outraged. The group made a loss of CHF 2.7 billion in 2016 and one of CHF 2.9 billion in 2015.
© Denis Linine | Dreamstime.com
In an interview published in Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsZeitung, Vincent Kaufmann, the CEO of Ethos described the remaining bonuses of CHF 15 million for 2016 and CHF 31 million earmarked for the future still “very high”.
At the same time Kaufmann said “pressure from Credit Suisse shareholders has been fruitful.” According to him the Minder initiative is finally starting to bear fruit. Further proof is the CHF 44 million that the former CEO of Novartis Daniel Vasella is no longer

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Swiss employers continue to discriminate against over 50s

6 days ago

Travail Suisse, an association representing Swiss employees, highlights once more the age discrimination faced by those over 50 in the Swiss job market.
© Felix Mizioznikov | Dreamstime.com
In March 2017, 26.8% of unemployed in the this age group had been without work for more than a year, compared to 2.3% of those between 15 and 24 and 14.1% of those aged 25 to 49.
According to RTS, the unemployed over 50 take twice as long to find a new job. The number expected to join their ranks is forecast to rise by 75% over the next 10 years, partly because the number of workers above 50 will swell as baby boomers reach this age.
In addition, official numbers underestimate the problem. Those who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits, usually because they have been out of work for long periods, are

Read More »

Swiss employers continue to discriminate against over 50s

6 days ago

Travail Suisse, an association representing Swiss employees, highlights once more the age discrimination faced by those over 50 in the Swiss job market.
© Felix Mizioznikov | Dreamstime.com
In March 2017, 26.8% of unemployed in the this age group had been without work for more than a year, compared to 2.3% of those between 15 and 24 and 14.1% of those aged 25 to 49.
According to RTS, the unemployed over 50 take twice as long to find a new job. The number expected to join their ranks is forecast to rise by 75% over the next 10 years, partly because the number of workers above 50 will swell as baby boomers reach this age.
In addition, official numbers underestimate the problem. Those who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits, usually because they have been out of work for long periods, are

Read More »

Fall in Swiss property prices accelerates

7 days ago

Over the year ending 31 March 2017, apartment prices across Switzerland dropped by 6.8%, according to a property price report published by the Zurich-based research and consulting firm Fahrländer Partner FPRE. Close to half of the decline (-3.2%) occurred in the first quarter of 2017.Across the year, the price of mid-range apartments fell most (-9.4%), followed by high-end ones (-6.3%) and smaller lower cost ones (-0.9%). The largest annual regional falls in apartment prices were in the Alps (-9.3%), the southern Ticino region (-8.8%), Lake Geneva (-8.3%), Jura (-7.7%), Central (-5.4%), eastern Switzerland (-5.0%), Zurich (-4.2%) and Basel (2.6%) – regions shown below.
Much of the recent annual decline came in the

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Fall in Swiss property prices accelerates

8 days ago

Over the year ending 31 March 2017, apartment prices across Switzerland dropped by 6.8%, according to a property price report published by the Zurich-based research and consulting firm Fahrländer Partner FPRE. Close to half of the decline (-3.2%) occurred in the first quarter of 2017.
© Sylgal | Dreamstime.com
Mid-range apartments hardest hit
Across the year, the price of mid-range apartments fell most (-9.4%), followed by high-end ones (-6.3%) and smaller lower cost ones (-0.9%). The largest annual regional falls in apartment prices were in the Alps (-9.3%), the southern Ticino region (-8.8%), Lake Geneva (-8.3%), Jura (-7.7%), Central (-5.4%), eastern Switzerland (-5.0%), Zurich (-4.2%) and Basel (2.6%) – regions shown below.
Much of the recent annual decline came in the first quarter of

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Swiss federal tribunal refuses to help French tax authorities

11 days ago

© Steeve Baillon – Dreamstime.com Tribune de Genève. The French tax authorities will not get Swiss help to investigate tax payers identified in data taken by Hervé Falciani from HSBC private bank in Geneva. HSBC, owner of the private bank in Geneva, which became part of HSBC in 1999 when it was acquired from Republic National Bank, …

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Swiss federal tribunal refuses to help French tax authorities

13 days ago

Tribune de Genève.
The French tax authorities will not get Swiss help to investigate tax payers identified in data taken by Hervé Falciani from HSBC private bank in Geneva.
© Steeve Baillon – Dreamstime.com
HSBC, owner of the private bank in Geneva, which became part of HSBC in 1999 when it was acquired from Republic National Bank, a group run by Lebanese-born financier Edmond Safra, described the data taken from the bank in 2008, as stolen, reported the BBC.
In addition, Falciani was later accused of selling the information, according to a report by Tages Anzeiger.
He was eventually sentenced by Swiss courts to 5 years in prison.
Meanwhile, the French tax authorities found in the data, the name a of couple with French nationality, who are suspected of evading French taxes.
In 2014, the

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Swiss chef wins world’s best restaurant award

14 days ago

Daniel Humm – Source: Facebook_chefdanielhumm
24 Heures.
A Swiss chef from Aargau came first in this year’s ranking of the world’s 50 best restaurants.
Daniel Humm, co-owner of the restaurant Eleven Madison Park, comes from Strengelbach in Switzerland, and earned his first Michelin star at 24. In 2003, he moved to the United States to become a chef at Campton Place in San Francisco. Three years later, he moved to New York to Eleven Madison Park. He and Will Guidara now co-own the restaurant.

This year the restaurant came top in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking. Last year it was third.

Drool over all the restaurants in #Worlds50Best 2017 via #foodpics. https://t.co/rWMhZn7qlH pic.twitter.com/OLFAEJw5xB
— The

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Swiss chef wins world’s best restaurant award

15 days ago

24 Heures.
A Swiss chef from Aargau came first in this year’s ranking of the world’s 50 best restaurants.
Daniel Humm – Source: Facebook_chefdanielhumm
Daniel Humm, co-owner of the restaurant Eleven Madison Park, comes from Strengelbach in Switzerland, and earned his first Michelin star at 24. In 2003, he moved to the United States to become a chef at Campton Place in San Francisco. Three years later, he moved to New York to Eleven Madison Park. He and Will Guidara now co-own the restaurant.
This year the restaurant came top in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking. Last year it was third.

Drool over all the restaurants in #Worlds50Best 2017 via #foodpics. https://t.co/rWMhZn7qlH pic.twitter.com/OLFAEJw5xB
— The World’s 50 Best (@TheWorlds50Best) April 9, 2017

According to Bloomberg,

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The Swiss municipalities with too many second homes – latest figures

18 days ago

Chalet apartments in Verbier – © Chechotkin | Dreamstime.com
On 11 March 2012, Swiss voted to accept a law restricting the construction of secondary residences, homes that are only used occasionally by owners living somewhere else. Under the law no more than 20% of a municipality’s housing can be second homes. Those with percentages above 20% run into building restrictions. The initiative was nick named Lex Weber after one of the main figures behind the initiative, the environmentalist Franz Weber.
Every year on 31 March, the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) publishes an inventory of municipalities and their share of second homes.
This year 421 out of 2,255 communes exceeded the permissible 20%

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Paris says no to sand from Swiss company that bid for Trump wall

19 days ago

© Kevinbrine | Dreamstime.com The French-Swiss group, described as “disreputable” by the Ville de Paris, will not be supplying sand to the city of Paris this summer. Paris Plages (Beaches), a project that creates temporary beaches of sand along the banks of the river Seine every summer, said it would take no more sand from …

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The Swiss municipalities with too many second homes – latest figures

20 days ago

On 11 March 2012, Swiss voted to accept a law restricting the construction of secondary residences, homes that are only used occasionally by owners living somewhere else. Under the law no more than 20% of a municipality’s housing can be second homes. Those with percentages above 20% run into building restrictions. The initiative was nick named Lex Weber after one of the main figures behind the initiative, the environmentalist Franz Weber.
Chalet apartments in Verbier – © Chechotkin | Dreamstime.com
Every year on 31 March, the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) publishes an inventory of municipalities and their share of second homes.
This year 421 out of 2,255 communes exceeded the permissible 20% share of second homes. Most of these communes are in cantons home to

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Some UN consultants thought their income was tax free. They were wrong.

20 days ago

Photo: Phillip Judd
Some United Nations consultants haven’t paid taxes on their income, thinking it was exempt. When the tax authorities catch up with them they’ll risk paying back taxes and fines.
As a general rule, foreign UN functionaries are not required to pay local taxes on their income. On the other hand UN consultants must. Over the weekend, Swiss broadcaster RTS, explain the details of a system misunderstood by some. The programme showed an IT consultant, who convinced no tax was due, had paid none. Discovered by Geneva’s tax office, he must now pay CHF 18,500 for income earned in 2012. Contacted by RTS, UN spokesperson Alessandra Vellucci said: “It is up to each person to make sure they fulfill their tax

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Paris says no to sand from Swiss company that bid for Trump wall

21 days ago

Le Matin.
The French-Swiss group, described as “disreputable” by the Ville de Paris, will not be supplying sand to the city of Paris this summer.
© Kevinbrine | Dreamstime.com
Paris Plages (Beaches), a project that creates temporary beaches of sand along the banks of the river Seine every summer, said it would take no more sand from LafargeHolcim because of its willingness get involved in Donald Trumps’s disastrous Mexican wall project.
Bruno Julliard, a representative of Paris’s mayor, said we’ll do without the company’s offer of sand, something the city has benefited from for 15 years.
Last year more than 3,000 tons of sand were spread along the banks of the Seine.
LafargeHolcim announced on 9 March 2017 that it was ready to sell cement for the wall’s construction.
In an article

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Some UN consultants thought their income was tax free. They were wrong.

21 days ago

20 Minutes.
Some United Nations consultants haven’t paid taxes on their income, thinking it was exempt. When the tax authorities catch up with them they’ll risk paying back taxes and fines.
Photo: Phillip Judd
As a general rule, foreign UN functionaries are not required to pay local taxes on their income. On the other hand UN consultants must. Over the weekend, Swiss broadcaster RTS, explain the details of a system misunderstood by some. The programme showed an IT consultant, who convinced no tax was due, had paid none. Discovered by Geneva’s tax office, he must now pay CHF 18,500 for income earned in 2012. Contacted by RTS, UN spokesperson Alessandra Vellucci said: “It is up to each person to make sure they fulfill their tax obligations. It’s very clearly written in the UN work rules. The

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A fifth of Swiss can’t cope with an unexpected expense of 2,500 francs

21 days ago

In 2015, 21.7% of Switzerland’s population was unable to cover an unexpected expense of CHF 2,500 within a month, says a report from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office.

©-Alex-Hinds-Dreamstime.com_ – Click to enlarge

Single parent families were the least able to cope with 46.1% of them falling into this camp. Single parent families were followed by single people under 65 (27.1%) and two-parent families (24.0%). Among couples with no children only 12.2% would struggle to cover an unplanned payment of 2,500 francs within one month.
The ability of a household in the EU-28 to cover an unexpected expense amounting to a fraction (1/12) of the poverty threshold, about 116 euros in Romania and 1 764 euros in Luxembourg,

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A fifth of Swiss can’t cope with an unexpected expense of 2,500 francs

21 days ago

In 2015, 21.7% of Switzerland’s population was unable to cover an unexpected expense of CHF 2,500 within a month, says a report from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office.
© Alex Hinds | Dreamstime.com
Single parent families were the least able to cope with 46.1% of them falling into this camp. Single parent families were followed by single people under 65 (27.1%) and two-parent families (24.0%). Among couples with no children only 12.2% would struggle to cover an unplanned payment of 2,500 francs within one month.
The ability of a household in the EU-28 to cover an unexpected expense amounting to a fraction (1/12) of the poverty threshold, about 116 euros in Romania and 1 764 euros in Luxembourg, varied hugely between countries.
Across all nations the rate was 37.3% with wide variations

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The real reason Swiss drugs are so expensive

March 24, 2017

24 Heures.
In Switzerland, a 16-pack of 500mg Dafalgan Odis (Paracetamol) costs CHF 8.60. A comparable French product, Doliprane, costs 1.12 euros for a box of 12 tablets the same size. 12 tablets of 500 mg of Algifor (Ibuprofen) costs CHF 9.90 compared to 2.50 euros for a similar box of Advil in France.
© Ginasanders | Dreamstime.com

– Click to enlarge
Another product, Nivea Baby Serum physiologique (24 x 5 ml), an eye and nose cleanser for babies, costs CHF 9.50 ordered from the Swiss online retailer Zur Rose. In France, at LaSante.net it costs 1.69 euros for a larger pack of 30 x 5ml doses. And the insect repellant Anti-Brumm strong, is twice the price of a similar product in France. These are a few examples.

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The real reason Swiss drugs are so expensive

March 24, 2017

24 Heures.
In Switzerland, a 16-pack of 500mg Dafalgan Odis (Paracetamol) costs CHF 8.60. A comparable French product, Doliprane, costs 1.12 euros for a box of 12 tablets the same size. 12 tablets of 500 mg of Algifor (Ibuprofen) costs CHF 9.90 compared to 2.50 euros for a similar box of Advil in France.
© Ginasanders | Dreamstime.com
Another product, Nivea Baby Serum physiologique (24 x 5 ml), an eye and nose cleanser for babies, costs CHF 9.50 ordered from the Swiss online retailer Zur Rose. In France, at LaSante.net it costs 1.69 euros for a larger pack of 30 x 5ml doses. And the insect repellant Anti-Brumm strong, is twice the price of a similar product in France. These are a few examples.
What is going on?
Algifor and Anti-Brumm strong, are brands belonging to Basel-based Galenica, a

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Swiss Post to start delivering with drones this summer

March 18, 2017

20 Minutes.
Swiss post has said it will deliver the first packages by air this summer. The first deliveries will be made between two medical laboratories on the southern side of the Alps.

Swiss Post Drone – Click to enlarge
.

Test flights were conducted in the canton of Bern last year. Now Swiss Post is ready to make commercial deliveries starting in Lugano.
The two medical labs, one kilometre apart, belong to the Ospedale Italiano and the Ospedale Civico. The goal is to transport medical test samples as fast as possible.
The operation still requires a final green light from Switzerland’s federal civil aviation authority, which will conduct its own tests in late March, weather permitting.
The company expects to

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The Swiss Franc Hits its Lowest Since December

March 17, 2017

24 Heures.
On Monday the franc went as low as 1.0825 to the euro, the lowest since early December last year.
© Yulan | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
According to some experts, the weaker franc can be partly explained by the market activities of the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The cantonal bank of Thurgau said that the SNB appeared to be targeting a weaker franc ahead of the Dutch elections on Wednesday. Adding that they think an exchange rate of around 1.085 against the euro is possible.
At the same time, the US dollar, rising because of potential future interest rate hikes (the US fed raised its rate by 0.25% on Wednesday), could weigh on the franc.
The SNB however, did not wish to comment on the subject but

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The Swiss franc hits its lowest since December

March 17, 2017

24 Heures.
On Monday the franc went as low as 1.0825 to the euro, the lowest since early December last year.
© Yulan | Dreamstime.com
According to some experts, the weaker franc can be partly explained by the market activities of the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The cantonal bank of Thurgau said that the SNB appeared to be targeting a weaker franc ahead of the Dutch elections on Wednesday. Adding that they think an exchange rate of around 1.085 against the euro is possible.
At the same time, the US dollar, rising because of potential future interest rate hikes (the US fed raised its rate by 0.25% on Wednesday), could weigh on the franc.
The SNB however, did not wish to comment on the subject but will publish a report on the economy and monetary situation today.
By Thursday it had

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Swiss Post to start delivering with drones this summer

March 17, 2017

20 Minutes.
Swiss post has said it will deliver the first packages by air this summer. The first deliveries will be made between two medical laboratories on the southern side of the Alps.
Swiss Post drone
Test flights were conducted in the canton of Bern last year. Now Swiss Post is ready to make commercial deliveries starting in Lugano.
The two medical labs, one kilometre apart, belong to the Ospedale Italiano and the Ospedale Civico. The goal is to transport medical test samples as fast as possible.
The operation still requires a final green light from Switzerland’s federal civil aviation authority, which will conduct its own tests in late March, weather permitting.
The company expects to run daily drone flights between hospitals from 2018.
More on this:20 Minutes article  (in French)

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Vaud Discusses Extending Winter School Holiday to 2 Weeks

March 15, 2017

In Switzerland, this ski season has been disappointing, particularly if you have school aged children. During the Vaud school holiday this season, the fourth week of February, there was limited snow. Even at high resorts like Verbier, snow conditions were fairly average across the week. The week before there was good snow. But then everyone was still at school. A two-week school holiday in February would increase the chances of striking good snow.
© Daniel Barton | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
Vaud national councillor, Isabelle Moret (PLR/FDP), would like to see a study commissioned to explore the feasibility of a two-week holiday in February.
The ski resorts have responded positively to the idea. “It’s an

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