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SWISS NEWS

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Swiss borders closed on March 16h, 2020. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini, AFP

Two more cantons to start vaccinating people from the age of 16

Fribourg and Neuchâtel announced that everyone ages 16 and up can get vaccinated from May 8th and 10th, respectively.

They are joining two other French-speaking cantons, Jura and Valais, which have also opened their vaccination programme to these age groups.

They will receive the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine, the only one approved for use in this age category.

While many cantons are allowing anyone 16 and up to register for the vaccine, most are still vaccinating older groups.

Here you can see what age categories your canton is inoculating right now.

Employee exchange programme combats labour shortage

The shortage of skilled labour has proven to be a problem for a Valais-based company, Lonza, which manufactures one of the active ingredients in the Moderna vaccine.

Now Switzerland’s biotech sector has implemented a system to prevent certain companies from shutting down their facilities due to shortage of workers: an employee exchange platform.

The Inartis foundation is helping businesses which don’t have enough workforce due to quarantine or other factors, to  “borrow” employees with similar skills from other companies.

These workers are temporarily moved from one company to another to fill the shortage.

READ MORE: How Switzerland’s strict immigration rules might have contributed to slow vaccination rollout

Migros the favourite supermarket chain in Switzerland

When it comes to grocery shopping, 47 percent of consumers favour Migros, according to a survey carried out by a market research institute Marketagent Schweiz.

Coop lags behind, with only 27 percent of respondents preferring to shop there.

German discounters Lidl and Aldi, received only 9 percent and 7 percent of votes, respectively, but both are ahead of Denner , where 6 percent of respondents like to shop.

Border closures inspire a new art exhibit

On March 16th, 2020, the Federal Council declared the state of  emergency and shut all of Switzerland’s borders, mobilising about 8,000 soldiers to support the border guards.

This somber period is documented in Extra-Ordinaire, a virtual exhibition set up by the Swiss Customs Museum.

“Everyone has  experienced this in a different way. The exhibition is therefore a historical document intended for posterity to preserve some of these stories and present the pandemic from our point of view”, said the museum’s director, Maria Moser-Menna.

The exhibition is optimised for mobile phones and computers. It can also be seen at the Customs Museum, located in Gandria (TI) and open until October.

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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SWISS NEWS

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
MPs debate tax breaks for childcare services. Photo by Rashid Sadykov on Unsplash

Geneva vaccination centres will remain open despite USA-Russia summit

Although certain parts of the city will be shut on Wednesday due to the meeting this week between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, health authorities have said that Geneva’s vaccination facilities will continue to operate.

Even if some modifications will have to be made, “their impact will be minimal”, according to the cantonal pharmacist Nathalie Vernaz-Hegi.

READ MORE: Historic Swiss lakeside villa spruced up for Biden-Putin talks

Night trains and buses will resume their activity in July

Suspended since November, following the Federal Council’s decision to close restaurants at 11 pm, public transportation has not, or rarely, operated during the night since that time.
 
This is set to change in July, especially as there are now enough train drivers, particularly in the German-speaking Switzerland.
 
Shortages still remain in the French-speaking areas, as well as Ticino, but they should be resolved by fall.

Parents might be able to deduct more taxes for daycare costs

The parliament is debating about increasing the deduction for childcare costs, from 6,500 to 10,000 francs.

MP Christa Markwalder proposed this motion, arguing that it would allow a better reconciliation of professional and family life, as well as better integration of women into the labour market.

Opponents, however, claim  that such a deduction would lead to considerable tax losses, without having any positive effect on equality between men and women.

However, the proposal has every chance of succeeding, supporters say.

READ MORE: How to decide where to live in Switzerland based on affordability

Deportations of foreign criminals should be improved for minor cases, MPs say

The National Council has widely adopted a motion proposing several changes to criminal law relating to the expulsion of foreigners who commit crimes in Switzerland,

The motion proposes three options.

Firstly, the Public Prosecutor’s Office should be empowered to order expulsion in minor cases. Today, only a court can make this decision.

Secondly, foreign defendants without a residence permit or who entered Switzerland solely with the intention of committing a crime, should no longer be entitled to a defense.

Finally, the list of offenses must be re-examined to exclude minor ones; this includes contraventions leading to compulsory expulsion, in particular when they were committed by young foreigners who grew up in Switzerland.

Swiss residents opt to invest their money in pension funds

People in Switzerland have a marked preference for placing their money in pension funds and life insurance over other investment options, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group.

The study showed that the two investment vehicles accounted for 41 percent of the estimated $3.3 trillion of financial wealth in 2020.

Next — 32 percent — are deposits in foreign currencies, followed by equities and investment funds (23 percent).

At the end of 2020, the share of Swiss financial assets was more than 6 percent of  Western Europe’s.

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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