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SWISS NEWS

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

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 Wednesday
Swiss consumers are spending again. Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP

More cross-border workers are employed in Switzerland

The number of border employees has grown steadily since the Free Movement of Persons agreement between Switzerland and the EU went into effect in 2002, according to new figures released by the Federal Statistical Office.

As the chart below shows, the overwhelming majority (55.2 percent) comes from France, followed by Italy (23.5 percent) and Germany (18.1 percent).

READ MORE: Why are cross-border workers exempted from Switzerland’s new travel restrictions?

No price increase for train tickets in 2022

Despite a shortfall of almost 2 billion francs due to the pandemic, the cost public transportation tickets will remain the same in 2022, said the SwissPass Alliance, which brings together 250 transport companies and 18 fare communities.

On some segments, the price will actually drop from December 12th, a traditional day when the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB/SFF/FFS) publish their new timetable for the coming year.

In addition, it is planned to expand the supersaver range, allowing travellers to purchase discounted upgrades for certain connections online.

A train of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB / CFF / FFS) Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Looking for a high-position job? Become an astronaut.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is advertising an unusual job vacancy on Swiss online recruitment site, jobup.ch.

“The European Space Agency is looking for professionals who are able to conduct spaceflight missions to low Earth orbit and the Moon”, the ad states.

ESA then goes on to explain that the position is that of a “Parastronaut”, that is, a person with a physical disability to investigate “the feasibility of bringing, for the first time in history, an astronaut with a physical disability into space to perform professional duties”. 

The ad then lists the qualifications, as well as disabilities, that a successful candidate for space missions should have.

More information, as well as an explanation about how candidates from Switzerland should apply, can be found here.

Swiss households are spending money again

As of April 2021, consumer spending in Switzerland has reached pre-pandemic levels, a new study by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has shown.

“The primary reason for this significant improvement is households’ expectations regarding general economic development”, SECO said in a press release.

“This indicates that consumers are expecting the economic recovery following the crisis-plagued year  to continue over the coming months. Increasing likelihood of making major purchases has also helped to raise consumer confidence”, according to SECO.

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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