Ueli Prager, the founder of the Swiss hotel and restaurant group Mövenpick, died on Saturday at the age of 95, according to his family.

"/> Ueli Prager, the founder of the Swiss hotel and restaurant group Mövenpick, died on Saturday at the age of 95, according to his family.

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Swiss food pioneer dies at 95

Ueli Prager, the founder of the Swiss hotel and restaurant group Mövenpick, died on Saturday at the age of 95, according to his family.

Prager was one of Switzerland’s most renowned businessman and, like most pioneers, he was “open to everything,” the family said.

Born in Wiesbaden (Germany) to a Swiss family, he opened his first restaurant in Zurich in 1948, The Mövenpick.

The Mövenpick kicked off what would become one of his biggest revolutions in Switzerland: offering healthy food at relatively low prices and with fast service. He used to explain that he got the idea when he saw a man quickly feeding the seagulls in the Lake of Zurich with pieces of bread.

Business success came rapidly, and new eateries were opened in Lucerne, Geneva and Lugano.

By 1965, Prager had opened his first restaurant abroad, in Germany.

Soon after, the doors of the first hotel of the group opened: the Jolie Ville Motor Inn in Zurich. The first international hotel venture was launched in 1975 with an opening in Egypt, near the Giza pyramids. It was the first of many hotels to be located outside the Swiss borders.

But for the Swiss fast food pioneer that was not enough.

The first Mövenpick brand was for coffee, and was launched onto the market in 1963. Six years later it was the turn of his world-famous ice-cream brand.

Three decades after the company’s birth, Mövenpick was trading in the Swiss stock market as a hotel, restaurant, food and wine company.

But as Prager aged, the company began to disintegrate.

In 1988, 40 years after the first opening, Prager stepped down as managing director and his wife Jutta took over.

In 1992, the company was sold to Augst von Finck, a German businessman, who sold the ice-cream brand to Nestlé and removed Mövenpick from the stock market in 2007 to turn it, once again into a family-run business.

The news broke Prager’s heart and he said at the time: “Mövenpick of today is no longer my Mövenpick”.

In the 1990s, Prager and his wife moved near London, even though they kept a castle in Silvaplana, a small village in Graubünden, where they used to spend extended periods of time.

What started as a one-man business had, at the time of the Swiss food icon’s death, more than 18,000 employees around the world, 68 restaurants, 38 hotels and a dozen motorway restaurants.

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SWISS CITIZENSHIP

QUIZ: Would you pass Zurich’s Swiss citizenship test?

Zurich, Switzerland's most populous canton, is standardising its test for Swiss citizenship. Think you could pass it?

QUIZ: Would you pass Zurich’s Swiss citizenship test?

Voters in the Swiss canton of Zurich on May 15th approved a proposal to simplify naturalisation requirements for the canton’s 350,000 foreigners. 

Zurich, Switzerland’s most populous canton, has 162 municipalities. While it might be a slight exaggeration to say there are 162 unique tests, the questions can vary greatly. 

Naturalisation: How well must I speak a Swiss language for citizenship?

The May 15th vote standardised the process by establishing a standardised knowledge test for the entire canton.

This means that the test will be drawn from the same questions regardless of whether you live in Adlikon bei Andelfingen or Zumikon. 

Whether you’ve just arrived in Zurich or you’re a long-time Swiss citizen, this set of cantonal naturalisation test questions gives you a chance to see how well you’d do. 

How does the naturalisation test work? 

The test includes 350 questions about Swiss history, tradition, politics and culture, with a focus on Zurich.

Anyone taking the test will be given 50 questions at random and must answer at least 30 correctly to pass.

While the test will be standardised – as in, the 50 questions will be drawn from the same 350 across the canton – there will be questions directed at municipal, cantonal and federal issues. 

The test will be in German, although the canton promises that it will take place in ‘plain language’. 

More information about the new requirements is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How Zurich has simplified the Swiss citizenship process

Would you pass Zurich’s citizenship test?

With the decision to standardise the test only given public approval in May – and with things taking a little while in Switzerland generally – as at June 30th the canton-wide test has not yet been put in place. 

The Zurich government website indicates final work is being done to ensure the test is appropriate. 

READ MORE: The ten most surprising questions on Switzerland’s citizenship exam

A number of questions have however been released. The test is in multiple choice format, with applicants being given three or four options for most questions. 

The following are translated versions of some of the questions which are actually included on the test. 

As you can see, many relate to Switzerland federally and do not have specific relevance to Zurich. 

To take the test on the Zurich cantonal website – and for more information – click here. 

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