Published: 15 Jan 2013 11:54 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 15 Jan 2013 11:54 GMT+01:00
Swiss authorities are bracing for an increase in asylum seekers this year beyond what the federal government has budgeted for, according to a report from SRF, the German-language public broadcaster.
Last year the government budgeted for 23,000 asylum applications for 2013 but that figure is forecast to hit 30,000.
Karl Schwaar told SRF that costs to deal with political refugees are expected to rise to 1.43 billion francs, 100 million francs more than has been budgeted through a three-year plan.
That spending level would be the highest since 1999, marking an increase of half a billion francs in five years.
The federal government will be forced to seek a supplementary credit in the autumn just to deal with extra expenditures for this year, the result of increased asylum applications.
The government did not specifically pinpoint the cause of the increase, occurring despite tightened immigration regulations.
But the UN Refugee Agency, based in Geneva, last week identified one potential source — refugees from the conflict in Syria.
The number of Syrian refugees registered in neighbouring countries and North Africa jumped by 100,000 to 600,000 in the past month, the UNHCR said.
That number is expected to rise to 1.1 million by next June if the war in Syria continues, the agency said.
Meanwhile, the conflict in Mali has caused nearly 150,000 people to flee the country, the UNHCR said on Tuesday.
The UN Security Council has unanimously supported France’s military intervention in the African country to fight Islamist rebels.
France intervened on Friday over concerns that rebels would take over the country’s capital, Bamako, and destabilize the region.
After going undefeated throughout the world ice hockey championship tournament, Switzerland finally succumbed to home town favorite Sweden in the final, losing 5-1 in Stockholm on Sunday. READ () »
Switzerland will play hosts Sweden in the final of the world ice hockey championships on Sunday after each side registered a 3-0 semi-final victory over the United States and Finland respectively. READ () »
Jewellery worth more than $1 million made by Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweller Chopard and due to be loaned to stars walking the red carpet at the Cannes film festival were stolen from a hotel, French police said on Friday. READ () »
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang embarks this weekend on his first foreign trip since taking office, with a stop in Switzerland on the itinerary and free trade talks between the two countries close to completion. READ () »
The Salvation Army band carrying Switzerland’s hopes into the Eurovision Song Contest was vanquished on Thursday night in Malmö, Sweden. READ () »
More than a third of Geneva’s active working population lives outside the canton, with the majority residing in neighbouring France and the rest largely in the canton of Vaud, according to a report issued on Thursday. READ () »
International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid can count on the support of the Swiss federation in his bid for re-election, the sport's global governing body said on Thursday. READ () »
Switzerland headed to the world ice hockey championship semifinals after a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic on Thursday in Stockholm. READ () »
The chairman of newborn mining and commodities giant Glencore Xstrata, John Bond, was on Thursday axed by its annual general meeting in Zug, just weeks after the Swiss-based group was created via a merger of two key players. READ () »
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has nominated former Kenyan minister and member of parliament Mukhisa Kituyi to lead the UN's Geneva-based trade and development body when the current chief steps down at the end of August. READ () »