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SWI swissinfo.ch – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, swissinfo.ch has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.

Videos by Swissinfo

How robot cars may transport freight under Switzerland

Cargo sous terrain, or underground cargo, is a futuristic Swiss freight project aimed at relieving pressure off existing roads and other infrastructure.

The plan is to build a 500-kilometre network of tunnels linking production sites and logistics hubs in Switzerland’s biggest cities. Electric driverless vehicles will transport goods from hub to hub below ground.

The private venture, which is planned for completion in 2045, is expected to cost CHF30-35 billion ($33-38 billion). But first a law overseeing the project must be passed by the Swiss parliament.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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Protest over academic collaboration with China

The Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) is one of three European institutions cooperating with a university in China with ties to the military. Not all ZHdK staff and students agree with the move.

A petition has been organised by Verso, the ZHdK student organisation, which is calling for cooperation with the Chinese Harbin Institute of Technology to cease immediately. It has been signed by 531 students and members of staff. But a Swiss-China relations expert says that the petition’s call to stop cooperation goes too far.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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Hollywood gives Swiss bankers a bad rap

To foreigners, Switzerland often means Alpine mountains, cows, chocolates – and tax evasion. As Frédéric Maire, director of the Swiss national film archives, explains in this video, the Hollywood movie machine is helping to keep these clichés alive.

He examines whether the sleazy characters depicted in films such as Wolf of Wall Street are simply exaggerations of the real bankers working in Geneva. We ask him whether the rigid, stiff, secretive, protestant, Germanic banking types of Zürich are real or just figments of filmmakers’ imaginations.

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Napoleon Bonaparte’s impact on Switzerland

To mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death, Swiss Public Television SRF takes a closer look at the changes he brought about in Switzerland, as he plowed his way across Europe with the French Imperial Army.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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What Switzerland and North Korea have in common


In both North Korea and Switzerland, the omnipresence of high mountains most probably affects the national psyche. An exhibition at the Alpine Museum in Bern investigates the similarities and differences between the two mountain nations, focusing not on politics but on people.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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The great Mars debate

Is human exploration of Mars worth the cost and the risk? Will we ever see the first man or woman on the surface of the Red Planet?

Following the launch of recent Mars missions with Swiss and international involvement, including the landing of the Perseverance rover, SWI swissinfo.ch put those questions to Sylvia Ekström of the University of Geneva and Pierre Brisson of the Swiss Mars Society in an online debate, hosted via Zoom.

These are highlights from the debate, in which Ekström’s co-author, Javier Nombela, also took part.

For Ekström and Nombela, it’s clear that the risks of a manned mission to the Red Planet outweigh the benefits. At the end of last year, they published the book ‘We won’t live on Mars, or anywhere else’, a paving stone in the form of a list of obstacles to a

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Pension reform in Switzerland: a democratic balancing act

The reform of pension systems is a pressing item on most political agendas worldwide. But in Switzerland, all major reform efforts since 2003 have failed. Is this a case of democracy hitting its limits? Political scientist Silja Häusermann explains how the mountain could be scaled.

Western countries all face the same scenario: the number of pensioners is going up, while the number of active workers – who finance these pensions – is going down by comparison. In Switzerland, the workings of the system needs to be adjusted so that old-age and survivors’ insurance payments – the core of the social finance model – remain guaranteed after 2030.

But the latest attempt at a reform again threatens to fall at the hurdle of the ballot box. During the recent spring parliamentary session, the Senate

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Swiss-EU relations hang in the balance

Discussions between the EU and Switzerland over the future of their bilateral relations could be on the verge of collapse. Over 100 bilateral treaties set the terms of relations between the two. These need updating. A framework agreement has been hammered out over seven years but there are sticking points and the deal is under fire from across the Swiss political spectrum.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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A nightclub in an isolated Swiss town

Before Juliane and Nici opened Cult, young people in the eastern Swiss town of Scuol had to drive for miles – even across the border into Austria – for a bit of fun.

“Scuol was a ghost town in terms of nightlife,” Juliane admits. As a result, local youngsters organised a petition saying there needed to be somewhere in Romansh-speaking Scuol where young people could meet and dance or just have a few drinks with friends. Parents were also supportive as the risk of drink-driving was reduced.

On a limited budget, the two created from scratch the wildly successful Cult, which is not just a bar and nightclub but also a platform for various cultural events.

They say everything’s going really well and they’ve received a lot of positive feedback, although they wish people would dial back the

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Two tales of women’s suffrage

Swiss men continued to deny women the right to vote until 1971. This inspired two Swiss-based authors to tell stories of women experiencing the fight for women’s suffrage at first hand.

In The Other Daughter by British author Caroline Bishop, one of the key protagonists, Sylvia, is a reporter sent to Switzerland on a mission to find out the effect of the introduction of female suffrage. Voting Day by Irish writer Clare O’Dea is set on the day that men first voted no to women’s suffrage in Switzerland in February 1959. Clare’s novella examines how sexual inequality affects the lives of its four main characters.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international

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Gabriela Martina – from yodel to bebop

Over a decade ago, Gabriela Martina left her home in the countryside of Lucerne to study jazz in the United States. Today, the vocalist and composer lives in Boston and teaches at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music.

Martina tries to mix her Swiss yodelling roots with jazz, soul, RnB, gospel and blues. Her latest album, Homage to Grämlis, tells stories about the farm where she grew up with her parents, grandmother, two sisters and a brother. Many of the songs are about how they tended animals and the land. It’s bittersweet as the family recently had to give up the farm.

When we first met Martina, the traditional building was undergoing renovations in preparation for the new tenants. She herself was preparing to perform at a local yodel festival.

Later, we met Martina across the

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Swiss circus performer brings her passion to New Orleans

At a young age, circus artist Meret Ryhiner migrated to the United States to study circus arts in New York. She became a professional circus artist and eventually moved to New Orleans.

This is the story of how a road accident and hurricane Katrina changed her life, as well as the lives of the people in her community.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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The introduction of women’s suffrage worldwide

Switzerland was one of the last countries to grant women their right to vote, preceding only 22 other countries worldwide. Today, only one country doesn’t allow women voters to cast their ballot in national elections, just because there aren’t any. In Vatican City, an absolute monarchy, the legislators are appointed by the Pope. Neither male nor female citizens have the right to vote.

February 7, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of Swiss women’s right to vote. Two thirds of the male population voted in favour of women’s suffrage in 1971. A first vote in 1959 was rejected with the same proportion, and a previous petition submitted in 1929 was ignored by the government.

When and how were women allowed to vote in other countries? The journey through time starts in 1776, and is closely

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Travelling to Switzerland post-Brexit


If you’re a Brit planning to visit Switzerland, you might want to think twice about bringing your pets with you! Things have changed since Brexit. ⁠

UK nationals are no longer covered by the EU’s free movement of persons agreement. When the present Covid-19 related travel ban is lifted, they will still be able to visit Switzerland for short periods using just their passports. But from 2022, short visits will require a visa waiver. UK citizens now have had to go through a different passport channel and may face longer waits at airports. ⁠

Travellers from the UK wanting to enter Switzerland with pets or meat and dairy products will also face stricter rules, as we find out in this video. ⁠

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its

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Switzerland’s four languages

The Swiss are known for their multilingualism. The proportion of polyglots has increased slightly since 2014, according to a new report from the Federal Statistical Office. Over two-thirds of adults regularly use more than one language. They need these skills to communicate with each other, either in the workplace or across the four distinct language regions.

The majority speak German, followed by French, Italian and Romansh. The latter is in decline and efforts are being made to ensure its survival. Find out all about the challenges of multilingualism in this Explainer video.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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Army takes charge of vaccine logistics

Switzerland’s conscript army is fighting on a new front, providing logistical help in the battle with Covid-19. It’s responsible for the transportation and safe storage of all vaccines, which are kept in secret armed forces installations. Meanwhile, civil protection staff are also helping with contact tracing, virus screening and setting up reception centres in hospitals.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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A Swiss sausage maker in Denver

Born in Zurich, Eric Gutknecht came to the US with his parents when he was a little boy. Today he runs a sausage factory in Colorado.

Gutknecht did two charcuterie-making apprenticeships in Switzerland. His professional experience includes teaching economics and working as a business analyst. In 2003, he and his wife, Jessica, took over the family sausage business in Denver.

Today, CharcūtNuvo provides grocery stores and Swiss clubs all over the United States with traditional Swiss-style Bratwursts as well as more unusual varieties, like chicken-spinach and mac-n-cheese. The factory uses European production techniques and even some Swiss equipment.

“We try to get our supplies from within a 500-mile radius,” says Gutknecht, adding that the meat, which comes from smaller farms, is not

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Swiss mom an ‘unofficial cultural ambassador’ in America

She kept dreaming of being on a plane that never reached its destination. Those dreams stopped about a year after moving to Colorado.

“The pilot would drop us off in a desert, or in the Alps, or the luggage would blow away,” remembers Regula Grenier, who has lived in Colorado since 2007. She sees the end of those dreams as a sign that she’s finally found the right place to live.

Originally from Einsiedeln in central Switzerland, Grenier quips that she was “made in Germany” since that’s where her parents conceived her.

“My spirit of travel and adventure started in the womb,” she says, explaining that her parents – both of whom had lived, worked and travelled abroad – passed on that interest in seeing the world. “Switzerland is such a small place; you have to explore.”

At 16, she moved

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A Swiss Rifle Club in America

Swiss rifles were coveted during the American revolutionary and civil wars. Today they’re used for fun by the Swiss Rifle Club of Minneapolis.

In the late 1980s, a group of Swiss expats living in Minnesota – all employed by food technology company Bühler – decided to form a shooting club to maintain a tradition from the homeland.

They made a deal with a local club willing to share its facilities, and got the green light from the Swiss military, which continues to supply the guns and bullets.

In late 1991, the club received its first batch of gear: ten rifles, five pistols, ammunition and other equipment; they were able to start shooting in 1992.

Since then they’ve participated in various Swiss marksmanship competitions each year – mostly remotely. Since 1995 they’ve also sent

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Can 3D printing save the coral reefs?

The oceans produce one in every two oxygen atoms. Coral reefs are like the ocean’s rainforest. But it’s disappearing, and fast. Ulrike Pfreundt has made it her life’s work to find a solution.

Pfreundt is a marine biologist at the Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich who gets emotional when she talks about coral death. Through 3D printing, she’s found a way to make artificial reefs and replace some of the coral that’s being lost by providing structures for new coral to grow.

She’s now testing the structures in the lab to see how to get coral larvae to start growing on them. Ultimately, she hopes to be able to deploy her printed inventions in the ocean to help grow new coral and support the vast ecosystems that depend on it.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the

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Why the rock band Queen loves Montreux

The quiet lakeside town of Montreux has become a mecca for Queen fans.
They make pilgrimages here each year to leave messages at Freddie Mercury’s statue and join in the annual birthday celebrations for the late star, who died in 1991. Now there’s even a Freddie Tour – you can follow in the footsteps of the flamboyant singer and visit the Studio Experience in the town’s casino. That exhibition is based on the recording studios Queen owned, where the group recorded seven albums. swissinfo.ch visited Montreux to find out why one of the most famous rock bands of all has such a lasting appeal in a sleepy lakeside town.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on

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Skiing in Switzerland: is it good for your health?

Some Swiss ski resorts are open for Christmas despite pressure from neighbouring countries on Switzerland to close its pistes until the latest coronavirus wave passes. Germany, Italy and France pushed for Swiss resorts to close until January but Switzerland is reluctant to further damage a sector worth billions to their economies. From December 22, all ski resorts will have to prove they have met strict safety standards to obtain cantonal permits to remain open.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch

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Skiing in Switzerland: is it good for your health?

Swiss ski resorts are open for Christmas despite pressure from neighbouring countries on Switzerland to close its pistes until the latest coronavirus wave passes. Germany, Italy and France pushed for Swiss resorts to close until January but Switzerland is reluctant to further damage a sector worth billions to their economies. From December 22, all ski resorts will have to prove they have met strict safety standards to obtain cantonal permits to remain open.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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Swiss to make space squeaky clean

Did you know that Swiss are so good at tidying up on earth that they’ve now won a contract to clean up space? ⁠The Swiss start-up – ClearSpace – is using technology developed by engineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). Their four-armed robotic junk collector will be launched into space by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2025. A lot of debris has accumulated over six decades of low-orbit activities and ESA hopes the mission will pave the way for a wide-reaching clean-up operation.⁠

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube

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Swiss footsteps in New Orleans

As a child, John Geiser III was surrounded by Swiss people in his grandfather’s adopted city of New Orleans. After the Second World War had ended, John was a young adult when his father took him to Switzerland for the first time.

We met John in June 2019, when he gave us a tour of New Orleans. Over the course of a hot and humid morning – mainly on foot – he energetically showed us the traces of Swissness dotted throughout this city famous for its music and mardi gras.

John has served as the Honorary Swiss Consul in the US state of Louisiana, and he is still an active member of the Swiss American Society of New Orleans. In fact, nobody in the club has been a member for as long as he has.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role

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Swiss drones to the rescue!

Drones are widely used to take amazing aerial photos, or to inspect infrastructure and crops. But in the future it is hoped they can increasingly be deployed to help firefighters or search and rescue operations in emergency situations.

Swiss researchers are at the forefront of drone research. The Swiss rescue agency REGA is testing an autonomous rescue drone to find people lost or in difficulty in the mountains. It should be operational next year.

Scientists are also working on small autonomous drones that can fold up to squeeze through collapsed buildings or super-agile bird-like robots that can fly through forests or buildings independently for use in rescue operations.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report

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Koyo Kouoh: Art is in the cracks, not in the polish

The Meret Oppenheim prize took Koyo Kouoh by surprise, and not just because she doesn’t care about prizes. The Swiss-Cameroonian curator says she never found much of an echo in Switzerland for her artistic interests – postcolonialism, African diaspora, and identity politics – for which she has received praise in many other countries.

Koyo Kouoh, described by The New York Times in 2015 as “one of Africa’s pre-eminent art curators”, is always on the move, even in the middle of a pandemic. She currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where she runs the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA. SWI swissinfo.ch met her during a brief escapade to Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on

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Making prosthetic limbs from recycled bottles

Recycling plastic to make new bottles is one thing, but using the material to create prosthetic limbs? That’s another. Two Swiss designers are using their skills to improve the lives of amputees.

Fabian Engel and Simon Oschwald travelled to Kenya, where they heard about the indignities people with prosthetic limbs faced in everyday life. Due to the high number of traffic accidents, amputations aren’t rare.

The cost of an artificial limb is prohibitively high for many people, and the restricted mobility that living with one leg brings, makes finding work difficult.

The two designers set themselves the challenge of coming up with a prosthesis that would be available at a fraction of the normal cost – using local labour and recycled materials. A visit to a vast rubbish dump in Nairobi

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What is a Swiss multinational company and what’s their role in the economy?

Switzerland is home to big players in the raw materials, food and chemicals industries. The alpine country boasts one of the world’s highest concentrations of multinational headquarters. You might wonder: where does its attractiveness come from?

Switzerland offers many advantages to large businesses: economic stability, a strong financial sector, qualified workers, a geographic location at the heart of transport networks – and an advantageous tax system and flexible regulations.

With more than 500 companies active in the sector, the small Alpine nation is a leading global platform for trade in raw materials, such as petrol, metals, minerals, and agricultural products. Switzerland is home to the headquarters of the sector’s world leaders — Vitol, Glencore, Trafigura, Mercuria, and Gunvor

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Swiss start-up generates electricity from wind power

Switzerland produces less wind power than other European countries but has ambitious future targets. A Lugano start-up is developing drones to generate electricity from high-altitude winds.

Winds, especially at high altitude, offer huge potential as an alternative renewable energy source to help solve the climate crisis. 

In Switzerland, the main source of energy is hydropower. Building large wind turbines, especially in Swiss valleys, is controversial.

Aldo Cattano and Nicola Mona, the inventor and chief executive officer of the start-up firm "Skypull", want to contribute towards finding cleaner energy sources by making best use of the winds on Switzerland’s mountain tops. 

The small Lugano-based team is developing a system using an autonomous drone connected by a tether linked to a

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