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Switzerland’s “harmful tax regime” gets it on EU grey list

3 days ago

© Kevkhiev Yury | Dreamstime This week EU Finance ministers came out with a list of countries it thinks don’t measure up to its definition of good tax behaviour. There are two categories: blacklist and so-called “grey list”. Black is bad and grey is heading toward good, but not yet there. Switzerland is on the …

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Switzerland’s “harmful tax regime” gets it on EU grey list

3 days ago

This week EU Finance ministers came out with a list of countries it thinks don’t measure up to its definition of good tax behaviour.
© Kevkhiev Yury | Dreamstime
There are two categories: blacklist and so-called “grey list”. Black is bad and grey is heading toward good, but not yet there. Switzerland is on the “grey list”.
To stay off the list, countries must have fair tax rules, which are defined as not offering preferential measures or arrangements that enable companies to move profits to avoid levies, combined with sufficient transparency.
Numerous countries avoided classification. EU member countries were excluded. If they had been Oxfam reckons Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Malta would have been on the list.
Eight Caribbean countries, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas,

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Airbnb charges some customers more than others, particularly the Swiss

3 days ago

© Mohamed Ahmed Soliman | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge Many Swiss residents travel to neighbouring eurozone countries for their holidays. These countries are close and Swiss francs go far there. However, to get the most out of a strong currency you need a good exchange rate. If a Swiss resident presenting euro cash at …

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Large email hack reported – Swiss agency tool lets you check if your account was compromised

4 days ago

It’s the question lurking in many people’s minds, especially during the frenzy of online Christmas shopping: has my email account been hacked?
© Igor Stevanovic | Dreamstime
MELANI has got your back – up to a point. The Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance (MELANI), is part of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service. They have recently come into possession of a database with 21,000 combinations of compromised email usernames and passwords. Intriguingly, the list was supplied by a confidential source that MELANI can neither identify nor corroborate.
Nevertheless, if you want to know if you’re on the list, you can quickly check on the MELANI website.
The MELANI site also has helpful info, in English, on types of threats and how to protect yourself. And you can report

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Airbnb charges some customers more than others, particularly the Swiss

6 days ago

Many Swiss residents travel to neighbouring eurozone countries for their holidays. These countries are close and Swiss francs go far there. However, to get the most out of a strong currency you need a good exchange rate.
© Mohamed Ahmed Soliman | Dreamstime
If a Swiss resident presenting euro cash at a checkout in Germany or France was told they couldn’t pay in euros because they live in Switzerland – “I’m sorry sir but you live in Switzerland, you must pay in Swiss francs at our inflated exchange rate” – few would return. But this is what Airbnb does.
Numerous payment solutions offering good rates have sprung up to rescue cross-border payers from greedy card issuers, many of which add a 3% charge into their exchange rates and additional charges on top.
Card issuers, not Visa and

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Airbnb charges some customers more than others, particularly the Swiss

6 days ago

Many Swiss residents travel to neighbouring eurozone countries for their holidays. These countries are close and Swiss francs go far there. However, to get the most out of a strong currency you need a good exchange rate.
© Mohamed Ahmed Soliman | Dreamstime
If a Swiss resident presenting euro cash at a checkout in Germany or France was told they couldn’t pay in euros because they live in Switzerland – “I’m sorry sir but you live in Switzerland, you must pay in Swiss francs at our inflated exchange rate” – few would return. But this is what Airbnb does.
Numerous payment solutions offering good rates have sprung up to rescue cross-border payers from greedy card issuers, many of which add a 3% charge into their exchange rates and additional charges on top.
Card issuers, not Visa and

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Swiss village offering to pay people to live there inundated with applications

8 days ago

After the Swiss mountain village of Albinen hatched a plan to pay parents (CHF 25,000 each) and children (CHF 10,000 each) to move there, it has been inundated with applicants.
Articles about the offer have been published by Time, The Sunday Times, The Sun, El Pais, and many other publications.
Rather than celebrating, the picturesque town’s administration is unhappy. It published a statement on its website accusing the media of false reports that have created unnecessary fuss and confusion. It says some left out essential detail, such as the need to be under 45 (if a parent) and under 10 (if a child), hold a permanent residency permit or a Swiss passport, and be prepared to invest CHF 200,000 and stay for at least

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Amazon coming to Switzerland

10 days ago

© Calvin Leake | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge According to the newspaper Bilanz, Amazon has signed an agreement with Swiss post to provide rapid customs clearance. The head of postal customs, Felix Stierli, confirmed discussions with the company.A maximum customs clearance time of 3 hours will allow 24-hour delivery, one element of Amazon’s Prime …

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Swiss village offering to pay people to live there inundated with applications

12 days ago

After the Swiss mountain village of Albinen hatched a plan to pay parents (CHF 25,000 each) and children (CHF 10,000 each) to move there, it has been inundated with applicants.
[embedded content]
Articles about the offer have been published by Time, The Sunday Times, The Sun, El Pais, and many other publications.
Rather than celebrating, the picturesque town’s administration is unhappy. It published a statement on its website accusing the media of false reports that have created unnecessary fuss and confusion. It says some left out essential detail, such as the need to be under 45 (if a parent) and under 10 (if a child), hold a permanent residency permit or a Swiss passport, and be prepared to invest CHF 200,000 and stay for at least 10 years.
Speaking the local German dialect, largely

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Amazon coming to Switzerland

13 days ago

According to the newspaper Bilanz, Amazon has signed an agreement with Swiss post to provide rapid customs clearance. The head of postal customs, Felix Stierli, confirmed discussions with the company.
© Calvin Leake | Dreamstime
A maximum customs clearance time of 3 hours will allow 24-hour delivery, one element of Amazon’s Prime offer.
Once Prime is available, Swiss customers will be able to access most of the company’s complete online offer, which includes 229 million products.
Rather than setting up a logistics base in Switzerland, Amazon plans to service Switzerland from Germany.
The first packages are expected in January or February, according to the article.
From 1 January 2019, companies such as Amazon will be required to charge Swiss VAT, even on low value items.
The newspaper Le

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Amazon coming to Switzerland

13 days ago

According to the newspaper Bilanz, Amazon has signed an agreement with Swiss post to provide rapid customs clearance. The head of postal customs, Felix Stierli, confirmed discussions with the company.
© Calvin Leake | Dreamstime
A maximum customs clearance time of 3 hours will allow 24-hour delivery, one element of Amazon’s Prime offer.
Once Prime is available, Swiss customers will be able to access most of the company’s complete online offer, which includes 229 million products.
Rather than setting up a logistics base in Switzerland, Amazon plans to service Switzerland from Germany.
The first packages are expected in January or February, according to the article.
From 1 January 2019, companies such as Amazon will be required to charge Swiss VAT, even on low value items.
The newspaper Le

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What an average Swiss family spends on food and drink

14 days ago

If you’ve ever wondered what families in Switzerland spend on groceries, then here is a breakdown. Figures are taken from mean household income and expenditure data recently published by the Federal Statistical office for 2015.

More on this:Federal Statistical Office report (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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Switzerland’s 1.3 billion franc payment to EU proves divisive

14 days ago

© Marko Bukorovic | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge Switzerland’s deal with the EU involves a financial contribution. The sum announced by the Federal Council is CHF 1.3 billion over the next 10 years.The arrangement, announced on Thursday to coincide with a visit by european commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, extends a previous 10 year deal. …

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Stress rises among Swiss workers

15 days ago

© Luis Pablo Escoto Hernandez | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge A recent report by Travail.Suisse shows around 40% of Swiss workers report feeling often or very often stressed by their work.Stress and emotional exhaustion is a daily reality for many says Travail.Suisse. Between 2015 and 2017, the percentage suffering work related stress or emotional …

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Where an average Swiss household spends its income

16 days ago

© Bigpressphoto | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge A recent report from Switzerland Federal Statistical Office shows how an average Swiss household spends its income. In 2015, the mean income was CHF 9,946 per month, including all forms of income and any 13th month payment received at the end of the year. This means an average …

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Stress rises among Swiss workers

17 days ago

A recent report by Travail.Suisse shows around 40% of Swiss workers report feeling often or very often stressed by their work.
© Luis Pablo Escoto Hernandez | Dreamstime
Stress and emotional exhaustion is a daily reality for many says Travail.Suisse.
Between 2015 and 2017, the percentage suffering work related stress or emotional exhaustion has risen from 38% to 48%.
A key issue appears to be loss of control over free time. Other challenges include stagnating salaries and a lack of professional development and training. Around 50% of staff say they receive none or very little continuous training.
In addition, while employers invest evermore into highly qualified staff, they are doing little to train less qualified employees. As a result, 53% of workers are not confident that they could

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Switzerland’s 1.3 billion franc payment to EU proves divisive

17 days ago

20 Minutes.
Switzerland’s deal with the EU involves a financial contribution. The sum announced by the Federal Council is CHF 1.3 billion over the next 10 years.
© Marko Bukorovic | Dreamstime
The arrangement, announced on Thursday to coincide with a visit by european commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, extends a previous 10 year deal.
Not everyone is happy with the deal. Some, such as the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) think it is scandalous describing it as a 1.3 billion franc gift at the expense of taxpayers, an early Christmas present to gain favour with Jean-Claude Juncker. Céline Amaudruz said “We give 1.3 billion francs for nothing in return, without negotiating, it’s insane.”
Others, such as Roger Nordmann, a member of the Socialist Party, think it is in Switzerland’s best

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Where an average Swiss household spends its income

19 days ago

A recent report from Switzerland Federal Statistical Office shows how an average Swiss household spends its income.
© Bigpressphoto | Dreamstime
In 2015, the mean income was CHF 9,946 per month, including all forms of income and any 13th month payment received at the end of the year. This means an average Swiss household of 2.17 people had CHF 119,352 coming in across the year. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the disposable portion of it was 70%.
The largest slice of income went on taxes and social security payments (21.9%), known as AVS or AHI. The next largest hole in household pockets was housing and utilities (14.7%), followed by transport (7.6%), food and drink (5.6%), and compulsory health insurance (5.9%).
Leisure (5.6%), other insurance (3.2%), communication (1.9%),

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Swiss still richest, according to Credit Suisse

22 days ago

© Wrangel | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge The Credit Suisse 2017 Global Wealth Report, shows total global wealth rose 6.4% to USD 280 trillion in 2016, taking it to the its highest level since 2007, before the financial meltdown in 2008. Globally, average wealth per adult was USD 56,540. In Switzerland, the same figure …

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Swiss still richest, according to Credit Suisse

24 days ago

The Credit Suisse 2017 Global Wealth Report, shows total global wealth rose 6.4% to USD 280 trillion in 2016, taking it to the its highest level since 2007, before the financial meltdown in 2008.
© Wrangel | Dreamstime
Globally, average wealth per adult was USD 56,540. In Switzerland, the same figure was USD 537,600 (CHF 533,000), close to ten times the global average, placing Switzerland in the lead, if Iceland – with unreliable data – is ignored.
Median Swiss wealth is somewhat lower: USD 229,000 (CHF 227,000). So if your worth more than this you’re in the wealthier half.
Over two thirds of Swiss adults are among the top 8.6% of the world’s wealthiest, where the entry ticket is net wealth of USD 100,000. And, 8.8% of Swiss residents are US dollar millionaires.
Much of Switzerland’s rise

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Swiss still richest, according to Credit Suisse

24 days ago

The Credit Suisse 2017 Global Wealth Report, shows total global wealth rose 6.4% to USD 280 trillion in 2016, taking it to the its highest level since 2007, before the financial meltdown in 2008.
© Wrangel | Dreamstime
Globally, average wealth per adult was USD 56,540. In Switzerland, the same figure was USD 537,600 (CHF 533,000), close to ten times the global average, placing Switzerland in the lead, if Iceland – with unreliable data – is ignored.
Median Swiss wealth is somewhat lower: USD 229,000 (CHF 227,000). So if your worth more than this you’re in the wealthier half.
Over two thirds of Swiss adults are among the top 8.6% of the world’s wealthiest, where the entry ticket is net wealth of USD 100,000. And, 8.8% of Swiss residents are US dollar millionaires.
Much of Switzerland’s rise

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Swiss government moves closer to personal digital IDs

25 days ago

The idea of digital IDs in Switzerland has been kicked around since 2002 when the government decided it was a good idea. Since then it has been hotly debated. Following a process of consultation, the government met on 15 November 2017, and announced it’s aiming to have some form of digital or e-ID written into Swiss law between now and the summer of 2018.
© One Photo | Dreamstime
The idea is simple. Government-issued physical IDs, such as passports, work well in person, however on the internet, they’re useless. What is needed is a digital ID.
What are the main concerns and what might it mean for the average person?
From the beginning, one concern has been privacy, in particular the risk of the ID connecting separate pools of personal information and third parties gaining access to too much

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Switzerland moves closer to female board quotas

November 10, 2017

© Cecilia Lim | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge This week, Switzerland moved closer to requiring minimum percentages of women on company boards and management teams. A parliamentary commission came out in support of the Federal Council’s plan to require greater gender balance in the boardrooms of Switzerland’s large listed companies. A commission majority (14 …

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Switzerland moves closer to female board quotas

November 9, 2017

This week, Switzerland moved closer to requiring minimum percentages of women on company boards and management teams.
© Cecilia Lim | Dreamstime
A parliamentary commission came out in support of the Federal Council’s plan to require greater gender balance in the boardrooms of Switzerland’s large listed companies.
A commission majority (14 versus 11) would like to see a minimum of 30% of board members and 20% of the management of these companies made up of each gender – a 100% female boardroom would fall foul of planned rules too.
Companies failing to comply would need to explain themselves and present plans to meet the requirements.
A majority of the commission wants the transition period to be three years for boards and five years for management teams. This is shorter than the five and

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Reimbursement in Switzerland for drugs bought abroad could soon be possible

November 8, 2017

According to the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, Switzerland’s federal government wants to allow Switzerland’s residents to claim for drugs bought abroad. Prices across the border are generally far lower.
© Mike Clegg | Dreamstime
As recently as March 2017, the government told insurers that anyone buying medicines abroad would have to pay for them out of their own pockets. Now they appear to be reconsidering.
The NZZ said that drugs with expired patents cost on average 61% more in Switzerland than abroad, and generic drugs are 143% more costly.
An article in 24 Heures in March 2017 compared the prices of some common drugs. 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.

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Health insurance rise in 2018 even higher, according to new calculation

November 8, 2017

At the end of September the Swiss government announced an average nationwide health premium rise of 4% in 2018.
© Pogonici | Dreamstime
This government calculation is rather narrow. It only looks at the price of standard compulsory insurance, including accident cover, for an adult with a CHF 300 deductible. Price comparison site bonus.ch calculates that this policy configuration only applies to 18.3% of residents.
When all available policy variations are included the average rise is 5.1%. Segmentation reveals a 27% slice of the population who should expect a rise more than 10%. Close to 1% will see a rise of more than 20%.
One large group, families, will see their premiums rise an average of 6.1%, more than the 5.1% national average because children’s premiums will rise by more than adult

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Health insurance rise in 2018 even higher, according to new calculation

November 8, 2017

© Pogonici | Dreamstime – Click to enlarge At the end of September the Swiss government announced an average nationwide health premium rise of 4% in 2018. This government calculation is rather narrow. It only looks at the price of standard compulsory insurance, including accident cover, for an adult with a CHF 300 deductible. Price …

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Swiss government says it has a plan to contain healthcare costs

October 31, 2017

© Blondsteve | Dreamstime As next year’s health premium bills find their way into Swiss mail or email boxes, the reality of another round of price increases starts to bite. Earlier this week, Switzerland’s Federal Council unveiled 38 measures that will be considered as part of a plan to tackle Switzerland’s rising health costs. A final …

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Swiss government says it has a plan to contain healthcare costs

October 26, 2017

As next year’s health premium bills find their way into Swiss mail or email boxes, the reality of another round of price increases starts to bite.
© Blondsteve | Dreamstime
Earlier this week, Switzerland’s Federal Council unveiled 38 measures that will be considered as part of a plan to tackle Switzerland’s rising health costs. A final plan will be presented next spring, according to 20 Minutes.
A number of measures, such as the option of seeking treatment abroad, have already been implemented. Extending the list of out-patient-only treatments is currently being discussed along with a price reference system for drugs.
Health costs associated with things covered by Switzerland’s basic cover reached CHF 31 billion in 2016, around CHF 3,700 per person.
The Federal Council plans to look for

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