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Higher Swiss health premiums for those with high deductibles challenged by commission

19 hours ago

In June 2017, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced plans to reduce the discounts offered to those willing to risk paying the first chunk of their annual medical bills. The plan included reducing the maximum premium discounts given for opting for deductibles, the amount paid by the insured before insurance kicks in.
© Ginasanders | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge
On Tuesday, according to 20 Minutes, a commission for the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, said it disagreed with the Federal Council’s plan.
Switzerland’s compulsory basic health insurance can be bought from a range of private insurance companies, however these companies must work within rules set by the government.
For adults and young adults

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40% would struggle if Swiss health insurance premiums rose, says survey

3 days ago

A survey by price comparison site comparis.ch found 40% would struggle if Swiss health insurance premiums rose significantly in 2018.
© Subbotina | Dreamstime
The survey questioned 700 people across all of Switzerland.
20% of families said they couldn’t cope with a rise of CHF 10 a month and 13% said they couldn’t cope with a CHF 20 monthly rise. 17% of single people said an extra CHF 20 a month would break their budgets.
When asked why they thought premiums continued to rise, those surveyed singled out the pharmaceutical industry and people who unnecessarily run to the hospital or doctor. 65% blame rises on medicine makers and 63% on inconsiderate people using health services unnecessarily, while 55% blame doctors and hospitals for rising costs. In addition, one in five agree medical

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Halal and kosher meat might fall under proposed Swiss animal cruelty import restrictions

3 days ago

20 Minutes.
A motion adopted by Switzerland’s parliament on 7 June 2017 proposes halting the import the meat of mistreated animals. The work of Matthias Aebischer, a socialist member from the canton of Bern, was originally focused on foie gras, frogs legs and fur, but there are now suggestions his motion might include animals slaughtered according to certain islamic and jewish rituals.
© Balint Radu | Dreamstime
According to the newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, Katharina Büttiker, the president of the Swiss animal alliance, an organisation that worked with Aebischer on the motion, thinks certain halal and kosher products should be banned where animals have had their throats cut before being stunned.
Ritual killing is done by cutting the animal’s throat while it is alive and then leaving it to

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Higher Swiss health premiums for those with high deductibles challenged by commission

4 days ago

In June 2017, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced plans to reduce the discounts offered to those willing to risk paying the first chunk of their annual medical bills. The plan included reducing the maximum premium discounts given for opting for deductibles, the amount paid by the insured before insurance kicks in.
© Ginasanders | Dreamstime
On Tuesday, according to 20 Minutes, a commission for the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, said it disagreed with the Federal Council’s plan.
Switzerland’s compulsory basic health insurance can be bought from a range of private insurance companies, however these companies must work within rules set by the government.
For adults and young adults everyone has a minimum annual deductible of CHF 300. Those who want to bet they won’t need

Read More »

Balls or burgers – insect products coming to Swiss supermarkets soon

5 days ago

Would you eat balls made from insects? Last year the Swiss supermarket Coop applied for authorisation to sell insect based products. Then on 14 August 2017 it announced a limited number of its stores and its delivery service Coop@home would start selling the products from 21 August 2017, phasing the products in across other stores between August and the end of the year.
Source: Coop.ch
“We have been working on this project for a long time and the time has finally come. We are the first Swiss retailer of insect products carrying the Essento brand” said Silvio Baselgia, a manager at Coop.
The two products, made by Essento for Coop contain a mix of insect and vegetable ingredients.
The burgers contain mealworms, rice and other vegetables such as carrots, celery and leaks.
The balls

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Farm subsidy cuts for animal mistreatment supported by Swiss Farmers’ Union

5 days ago

According to 20 Minutes, Jacques Bourgeois, the director of the Swiss Farmers’ Union, supports sanctioning farmers who fail to treat their animals properly by cutting the farm subsidies they receive from the Swiss government.
© Kate Amiguet
In 2015, producer support in Switzerland amounted to around 57% of farm revenues according to an OECD estimate. Swiss farm subsidies are second to only Norway’s and more than three times the OECD average.
Bourgeois thinks the “black sheep” who disregard animal welfare should be severely sanctioned. In addition, he thinks current animal welfare checks work, citing the 7,230 operations singled out for punishment last year.
But what qualifies as mistreatment?
The most recent accusation of animal mistreatment was reported last week. The Fondation MART, run

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Swiss Rail advert triggers accusation of sexism

6 days ago

© Denis Linine | Dreamstime According to various newspapers, Swiss Rail placed an advert on a job portal at ETH, a university in Zurich, offering work to cunning vixens, “schlaue Füchsinnen” in German. Successful applicants need to dress up as foxes, including fox tails, and run around train stations with posters informing travellers of alternative …

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Swiss Rail advert triggers accusation of sexism

10 days ago

According to various newspapers, Swiss Rail placed an advert on a job portal at ETH, a university in Zurich, offering work to cunning vixens, “schlaue Füchsinnen” in German.
© Denis Linine | Dreamstime
Successful applicants need to dress up as foxes, including fox tails, and run around train stations with posters informing travellers of alternative train connections.
20 Minutes reported that a Swiss Rail spokesperson said that of course male foxes could also apply.
The organisation Terre des Femmes Switzerland is not convinced by this declaration of gender neutrality. In an article in the Handelszeitung Milena Wegelin, a representative of the organisation, described the company’s actions as questionable and sexist. Sexist advertising is still widespread in Switzerland and it is important

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Median Swiss salaries by occupation, region, gender and immigration status

15 days ago

© Shaunwilkinson – Dreamstime If you have ever wondered how much employees in Switzerland get paid you can check with the online tool Salarium, created by the Swiss government. The information is compiled from a database of numbers from a salary survey done in 2014. After entering five required bits of information: region, business sector, occupation, professional position …

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Median Swiss salaries by occupation, region, gender and immigration status

18 days ago

If you have ever wondered how much employees in Switzerland get paid you can check with the online tool Salarium, created by the Swiss government.
© Shaunwilkinson – Dreamstime
The information is compiled from a database of numbers from a salary survey done in 2014.
After entering five required bits of information: region, business sector, occupation, professional position and working hours, the tool calculates the gross monthly median salary and range. It can be further fined tuned with other information such as age and education.
For example a health specialist working in middle management in the pharmaceuticals industry in Zurich, working a 40 hour week, could expect a gross monthly median salary of between CHF 12,305 and CHF 14,698 depending on gender and work permit. This translates

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Swiss trust in news media in decline, says report

19 days ago

© Pressureua | Dreamstime A recent report by the Reuters Institute shows a fall in trust in news media in Switzerland. They survey shows that only 46% trust news overall. This is down 4% compared to the year before. The report suggests this is an effect of the debate around ‘fake news’ resulting from the …

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Swiss trust in news media in decline, says report

19 days ago

© Pressureua | Dreamstime A recent report by the Reuters Institute shows a fall in trust in news media in Switzerland. They survey shows that only 46% trust news overall. This is down 4% compared to the year before. The report suggests this is an effect of the debate around ‘fake news’ resulting from the …

Read More »

Swiss franc slides 4 percent in one week

20 days ago

On 24 July 2017, the Swiss franc was 1.101 to the euro. One week later on 31 July 2017 it was 1.145, according to Bloomberg. Over the month it dropped from 1.095 to 1.145, a drop Reuters described as the biggest monthly drop in six years.
© Wirojsid | Dreamstime
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has been working hard to bring down the value of the Swiss franc. Speaking to the newspaper Le Temps last week, SNB president Thomas Jordan described the currency as “significantly overvalued”.
But why has the franc weakened now?
According to Bloomberg, the currency’s slump seems to have been triggered by a number of factors including an excess of francs in the system. Commerzbank AG said the SNB could be selling the franc. The SNB has been adding assets to its balance sheet for some time, putting more

Read More »

Swiss franc slides 4 percent in one week

20 days ago

On 24 July 2017, the Swiss franc was 1.101 to the euro. One week later on 31 July 2017 it was 1.145, according to Bloomberg. Over the month it dropped from 1.095 to 1.145, a drop Reuters described as the biggest monthly drop in six years.
© Wirojsid | Dreamstime
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has been working hard to bring down the value of the Swiss franc. Speaking to the newspaper Le Temps last week, SNB president Thomas Jordan described the currency as “significantly overvalued”.
But why has the franc weakened now?
According to Bloomberg, the currency’s slump seems to have been triggered by a number of factors including an excess of francs in the system. Commerzbank AG said the SNB could be selling the franc. The SNB has been adding assets to its balance sheet for some time, putting more

Read More »

Swiss franc slides 4 percent in one week

20 days ago

© Wirojsid | Dreamstime On 24 July 2017, the Swiss franc was 1.101 to the euro. One week later on 31 July 2017 it was 1.145, according to Bloomberg. Over the month it dropped from 1.095 to 1.145, a drop Reuters described as the biggest monthly drop in six years. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has …

Read More »

Swiss trust in news media in decline, says report

20 days ago

A recent report by the Reuters Institute shows a fall in trust in news media in Switzerland. They survey shows that only 46% trust news overall. This is down 4% compared to the year before. The report suggests this is an effect of the debate around ‘fake news’ resulting from the presidential election in the US, a subject that dominated Swiss media at the time.
© Pressureua | Dreamstime
Despite the recent fall, Swiss confidence in news media is above the average of the 36 countries covered – the median is 43%. The US sits well below with 38%. At the top sits Finland (62%). Right down the bottom is South Korea (23%).
Trust in news in Switzerland declines with age. Above 55, 52% trust news overall, while only 32% of those under 25 do.
And while the report’s authors think the internet and

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Swiss government to take aim at high Swiss prices

July 21, 2017

© Robert Kneschke | Dreamstime 20 Minuten. Switzerland’s Federal Council wants to introduce new measures to lower prices in Switzerland to curb cross-border shopping, something that it says hurts Swiss businesses. Minister for Economic Affairs, Johann Schneider-Ammann, said in an interview with the newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende that he’s working on a package of measures to tackle high retail …

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Swiss government to take aim at high Swiss prices

July 19, 2017

20 Minuten.
Switzerland’s Federal Council wants to introduce new measures to lower prices in Switzerland to curb cross-border shopping, something that it says hurts Swiss businesses.
© Robert Kneschke | Dreamstime
Minister for Economic Affairs, Johann Schneider-Ammann, said in an interview with the newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende that he’s working on a package of measures to tackle high retail prices in Switzerland.
He thinks that if business costs are reduced prices will fall. In his view this is the best way to reduce Swiss residents shopping in neighbouring countries. To reduce costs the minister hopes to reduce bureaucracy and eliminate or lower technical trade barriers, requirements to change a product in some specific way for the Swiss market.
The minister would not be drawn into

Read More »

Swiss government to take aim at high Swiss prices

July 19, 2017

20 Minuten.
Switzerland’s Federal Council wants to introduce new measures to lower prices in Switzerland to curb cross-border shopping, something that it says hurts Swiss businesses.
© Robert Kneschke | Dreamstime
Minister for Economic Affairs, Johann Schneider-Ammann, said in an interview with the newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende that he’s working on a package of measures to tackle high retail prices in Switzerland.
He thinks that if business costs are reduced prices will fall. In his view this is the best way to reduce Swiss residents shopping in neighbouring countries. To reduce costs the minister hopes to reduce bureaucracy and eliminate or lower technical trade barriers, requirements to change a product in some specific way for the Swiss market.
The minister would not be drawn into

Read More »

Number of vacant homes rises again in Vaud

July 19, 2017

© Sam74100 | Dreamstime At 1 June 2017, 3,650 empty homes, of which 2,655 were for rent and 995 for sale, were on the market in Vaud. This brought the vacancy rate to 0.9%, a rise of 0.1% compared to the year before. This rise follows an increase of 0.1% in 2016 from a rate …

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Swiss franc more overvalued than 6 months ago according to Economist burger index

July 17, 2017

The Economist magazine’s 6-monthly Big Mac index shows the Swiss franc to be even more overvalued than it was in January 2017.
The index, which compares the US$ price of a Big Mac around the world places Switzerland at the top with a price of US$ 6.74. This is 27.2% more expensive than the United States where the same burger costs US$ 5.30.
In January 2017, the same burger in Switzerland cost US$ 6.35 and US$ 5.06 in the US making the Swiss one 25.5% more pricey.
The cheapest burgers are still found in Egypt where they are now 69% cheaper than in the US.
Cross-border burger shopping still offers savings. The average euro zone price of US$ 4.47 is 33.7% cheaper than Switzerland.

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Number of vacant homes rises again in Vaud

July 16, 2017

At 1 June 2017, 3,650 empty homes, of which 2,655 were for rent and 995 for sale, were on the market in Vaud.
© Sam74100 | Dreamstime
This brought the vacancy rate to 0.9%, a rise of 0.1% compared to the year before. This rise follows an increase of 0.1% in 2016 from a rate of 0.7% in 2015.
The market is considered balanced when the vacancy rate reaches 1.5%. The last time it was above this mark in Vaud was in 1999.
Vacancy rates varied significantly across the canton. The five regions with the highest vacancy rates were Aigle (2.2%), Broye-Vully (1.1%), Jura-Nord vaudois (1.1%), Gros-de-Vaud (1%) and Nyon (1%). The five regions with the tightest markets were Lausanne (0.4%), Ouest lausannois (0.7%), Lavaux-Oron (0.8%), Morges (0.9%) and the Riviera region around Vevey and Montreux

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How much pocket money Swiss kids get varies hugely by linguistic region

July 14, 2017

A study requested by Credit Suisse and Pro Juventute shows how much pocket money habits vary across Switzerland.
© Kirsty Begg | Dreamstime
Of the 14,000 adults surveyed a clear majority said it was their job to teach their children how to deal with money. Parents in the lowest earning category (less than CHF 50,000 p.a.) placed greater emphasis on teaching their children than those it the highest income bracket of over CHF 200,000 p.a.
The most important lessons Swiss parents focus on conveying are that money is earned, we shouldn’t live beyond our means and that it isn’t the most important thing in life. 77% agreed that children should understand that money doesn’t grow on trees, 64% that one shouldn’t live beyond their means and 63% that money isn’t everything in life.
On average Swiss

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Men in Switzerland doing more around the house

July 13, 2017

The average number of hours spent on domestic tasks by men in Switzerland rose by 10% between 2010 and 2016 according to a report by Switzerland’s federal statistical office.
© Masta4650 | Dreamstime
The 17.9 hours dedicated to domestic work by an average man every week was 36% less than that of an average woman. Men however were not sitting around twiddling their thumbs. The 27.3 hours spent by men on paid work was 64% higher than the 16.6 hours women invested in paid work. After adding in voluntary work – 2 hours for women and 1.6 hours for men – total weekly working hours were roughly equal, with men putting in 46.8 hours compared to 46.7 hours for women.
Since 2010 both women and men have been working harder. Women have added an extra hour of paid work with only a modest 0.2 hour

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Cannabis cigarettes soon available at Coop

July 13, 2017

20 Minutes.
Low-THC cannabis cigarettes will soon be available in the Swiss supermarket chain Coop.
Heimat cigarettes_source Facebook
Products with less than 1% tétrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not illegal in Switzerland, however their rapid rise in popularity has created controversy. Selling such products in supermarkets is a significant step in the product’s evolution.
Swiss cigarette manufacturer Heimat has come up with a new product which combines tobacco with low-THC cannabis. This new product will go on sale in Coop on 24 July 2017 at a price of CHF 19.90, according to 20 Minuten. The supermarket has set the minimum purchasing age at 18. According to 20 Minuten, Coop’s largest competitor Migros said it has no plans to follow Coop.
The manufacturer says they use 100% Swiss tobacco and a

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Swiss franc more overvalued than 6 months ago according to Economist burger index

July 13, 2017

The Economist magazine’s 6-monthly Big Mac index shows the Swiss franc to be even more overvalued than it was in January 2017.
© Pamela Mcadams
The index, which compares the US$ price of a Big Mac around the world places Switzerland at the top with a price of US$ 6.74. This is 27.2% more expensive than the United States where the same burger costs US$ 5.30.
In January 2017, the same burger in Switzerland cost US$ 6.35 and US$ 5.06 in the US making the Swiss one 25.5% more pricey.
The cheapest burgers are still found in Egypt where they are now 69% cheaper than in the US.
Cross-border burger shopping still offers savings. The average euro zone price of US$ 4.47 is 33.7% cheaper than Switzerland.
More on this:Economist article (in English)
For more stories like this on Switzerland follow us

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Swiss franc more overvalued than 6 months ago according to Economist burger index

July 13, 2017

The Economist magazine’s 6-monthly Big Mac index shows the Swiss franc to be even more overvalued than it was in January 2017.
© Pamela Mcadams
The index, which compares the US$ price of a Big Mac around the world places Switzerland at the top with a price of US$ 6.74. This is 27.2% more expensive than the United States where the same burger costs US$ 5.30.
In January 2017, the same burger in Switzerland cost US$ 6.35 and US$ 5.06 in the US making the Swiss one 25.5% more pricey.
The cheapest burgers are still found in Egypt where they are now 69% cheaper than in the US.
Cross-border burger shopping still offers savings. The average euro zone price of US$ 4.47 is 33.7% cheaper than Switzerland.
More on this:Economist article (in English)
For more stories like this on Switzerland follow us

Read More »

Swiss cheese fraudster gets 3 year prison sentence

July 12, 2017

20 Minutes.
A court in the canton of St. Gallen sentenced a cheese vendor to three years in prison, half of it behind bars.
© Marco Guidi
The man was judged guilty of fraudulently using Switzerland’s world-famous Emmental cheese brand and other crimes.
In addition to prison, the cheese seller was ordered to pay CHF 1 million in relation to illegal cheese sales – 3,500 tonnes of cheese pretending to be Emmental was sold – and other forms of fraud including breach of trust, unlawful business practices and harming creditors.
The Emmentaler AOP brand is one of 21 protected AOP brands registered in Switzerland. Registered AOP brands may only be used by producers in a designated geographical region who must adhere to strict rules set out by the Federal Office of Agriculture. Regular checks are

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Over two thirds of Swiss would like to change jobs

July 6, 2017

A survey shows that 71% of those working in German-speaking Switzerland would change jobs if they could. Dream jobs vary significantly by gender.
© Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com
The survey, conducted by Marketagent.com on behalf of XING Switzerland, questioned around 1,000 employees in German-speaking Switzerland between the ages of 18 and 65.
If age and and education could be ignored, 71% of the group said they would switch jobs. Dream jobs for men, in order of popularity, include: professional sportsman (8%), pilot (6%) and lawyer (5%). The top three for women are: veterinarian (9%), doctor (7%) and psychologist (5%).
Dream jobs vary little with age with two notable exceptions. 18 to 24-year-olds list archaeologist in second place (5%). And those aged 60 to 65 put writer at the top

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Swiss franc outstrips other currencies over last 117 years

July 5, 2017

Recent analysis by Credit Suisse, London Business School and Cambridge Judge Business School shows the Swiss franc’s enduring strength.
© Sergey Kuzmin – Dreamstime.com
The reports says that for a small country with just 0.1% of the world’s population and less than 0.01% of its land mass, Switzerland punches well above its weight financially.
The country has had the world’s lowest 117-year average annual inflation rate of just 2.2%. This low inflation is one of the phenomena that has given Switzerland the world’s strongest currency over the last 117 years, both in nominal and real terms. Every currency in the 22 countries in the study depreciated against the Swiss franc over the 117-year period since 1900.
Inflation in June 2017 was negative. A drop in the price of fuel and flights was

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