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Tag Archives: Business & Economy

Swiss supermarket Migros may soon sell alcohol

Currently, the Swiss supermarket Migros does not sell alcoholic drinks in its stores. Gottlieb Duttweiler, the retailer’s founder, instituted the policy to promote public health when the company was started in 1925. © Tea | Dreamstime.comHowever, this autumn, the management of the cooperative is planning to vote on whether to allow alcohol on to the the company’s shelves for the first time, according to watson.ch and Le Matin Dimanche. Migros’ no-alcohol rule is already fraying at the...

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Vote to increase Swiss retirement age clears signature hurdle

The youth chapter of the PLR (FDP) has successfully collected enough signatures for an initiative to raise the official retirement age in Switzerland to 66 years old, reported RTS. © Skypixel | Dreamstime.comOn 16 July 2021, initiative organisers submitted 145,000 voter signatures as part of the formal process of launching a referendum in Switzerland. Under referendum rules a minimum of 100,000 valid signatures must be collected within 18 months. The official retirement age in...

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Switzerland locked out of EU research project

On 14 July 2021, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation reported that it had been told by the European Commission that Switzerland will be treated as a non-associated third country in the EU’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. © Thamrongpat Theerathammakorn | Dreamstime.comThis means that Switzerland can only participate in limited ways. It can put forward proposals to some projects but will not qualify for funding. As a work around, the...

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How the Swiss government gets paid to borrow

Normally, those who borrow must pay out more money than they are lent in the form of interest and repayments. Currently, for the Swiss government it is the other way around. Lenders are paying the Swiss federal government to give it money. © Valeriya Luzina | Dreamstime.comOn 14 July 2021, the Swiss Confederation announced the success of its latest issue of government bonds. The government recently issued bonds with a face value of CHF 934 million in return for CHF 1,078 million, netting...

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Swiss CO2 taxes to rise in 2022

Switzerland has a mechanism that automatically increases taxes on fossil fuels if emission reduction targets are not met. And the small reduction in emissions in 2020 is not enough to avoid triggering a CO2 tax rise in 2022. © Jean-michel Feinen | Dreamstime.comData published this week by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) confirms the slow progress in reducing emissions in Switzerland. Emissions from heating oil and gas did not fall enough in 2020 to avoid triggering a rise in...

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Swiss unemployment back below 3% again

On 8 July 2021, the Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) published unemployment figures for June 2021. © Fizkes | Dreamstime.comBy the end of June 2021, there were close to 132,000 people registered as unemployed across Switzerland, 11,000 fewer than at the end of May 2021, bringing Switzerland’s overall unemployment rate down from 3.1% to 2.8%. Youth employment dropped particularly sharply compared to a year earlier. Unemployment among this age group (15-24) was down 32% year on...

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Swiss federal budget back to surplus in 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic plunged Switzerland’s budget into the red in 2020 and 2021. The federal government expects to return to normality with a balanced budget in 2022. © Asdf_1 | Dreamstime.comOn 30 June 2021, the Federal Council approved the outlines of a federal budget for 2022 and a financial plan for the period from 2023 to 2025. The balanced 2022 budget follows two years of pandemic-induced negative results. By the end of June 2021, the federal government had approved nearly...

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Swiss roaming charges fall on 1 July 2021 but the roaming minefield remains

On 1 July 2021, Switzerland’s revised telecommunications law came into effect. The new rules force mobile providers to make certain changes to deals they offer customers when roaming. Some of the resulting changes are positive, but not all. In addition, some operators have retained bundles that don’t comply with the new rules. © Jekaterina Voronina | Dreamstime.comThe new rules force mobile operators to change for roaming calls in increments of a second instead of increments of a minute,...

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Switzerland running low on butter and potatoes

Import quotas to protect farmers from outside competition are tightly managed in Switzerland. However, when Swiss farm production dips or demand rises, quotas are often eased to allow more low tariff imports. © Yasuhiro Amano | Dreamstime.comThis week, Switzerland’s government extended quotas on butter and potatoes in response to shortages. On 22 June 2021, Switzerland’s Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) announced it would increase the amount of butter that can be imported into...

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Switzerland tops innovation in Europe in 2021

In 2021, Switzerland had the highest innovation score in Europe, according to a report published by the European Commission this week. © Diego Grandi | Dreamstime.comSwitzerland’s innovation score of 162.3 put it comfortably ahead of Sweden (156.5), the European nation in second place. The score measures innovation across 12 areas, which include workforce education, research systems (international research publications), digitalisation, finance and support, investment, use of IT,...

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