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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
Funding for cow horns will be debated in the parliament. Photo ny Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

Swiss Covid-19 pass is taking shape — this is what it might look like

Intensive work is currently underway on the last stages of the Covid certificate, which will be gradually introduced in the cantons from June 7th, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

“Various security analyses are being carried out to obtain an appropriate level of security”, the NCSC said. Along with experts, members of the public who have IT and cyber security knowledge are also asked to identify any weak spots in the system.

For this purpose, NCSC made the source code of the Covid certificate publicly available.

And this is what the certificate could look like.


UBS bank will charge two francs for Bancomat withdrawals

UBS was one of the last establishments not to charge its customers when they withdraw money from a competitor’s ATM, but from today this practice is over. This move should discourage UBS clients from using other banks’ ATMs.

“Customers who choose to withdraw only from our distributors will save two francs per month”, said Jean-Raphaël Fontannaz, UBS spokesperson.

He also refuted the notion of free withdrawals: “This does not exist. Until now, UBS has offered its clients the fees that other banks charge for these transactions. In the current context, this position is no longer tenable”.

Only in Switzerland? Cows’ horns are on the political agenda

During the summer parliamentary session, which began on May 31st, deputies will debate various issues of importance to Switzerland, including the reform of the social security system and taxation.

But MPs will also weigh in on another crucial matter: the funding for cows’ horns.  A senator is asking the Federal Council to amend the ordinance on direct payments to make an “appropriate contribution” for the maintenance of horns. The motion is supported by a number of deputies in Council of States, the upper house of the parliament.

This is not a new issue in Switzerland: in 2018, Swiss voters rejected the initiative calling for subsidies for farmers who choose not to dehorn their cows and goats. 

Residents of Ticino might be able to go shopping in Italy this week

Unlike France and Germany, which allow Swiss residents who live close to the border to go shopping, Italy still has strict entry rules in place, excluding quick shopping sprees across the border.

However, the mayor of Italian border municipality of Lavena Ponte Tresa wrote a letter to the country’s  Health Ministry asking for a temporary exemption to be granted to Ticino residents who live within 20 kilometres of the Italian border.

He asked that people from Ticino be allowed to shop in Italy over the coming four-day weekend, which is a holiday in the canton.

READ MORE: What are the current rules on travelling from Switzerland to neighbouring countries?

Switzerland’s economy is improving

Swiss gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 3.2 percent in 2021 and 2.9 percent in 2022, according to the latest forecasts issued by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The easing of the measures put in place to curb the pandemic in Switzerland has allowed its economy to take off.

The gradual reduction in savings is a sign of a recovery in consumption, while rising optimism about  management of the Covid pandemic will favour the return of investment, according to the economic outlook study released by the organisation on Monday.

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]

Member comments

  1. For a country that loves anything around finance and money, it’s shocking that there are so few ATMs around. I would gladly pay for the surcharge if there were more machines available. But there simply isn’t. Go to Thailand, and there are three different companies side by side in front of most shops. Granted, I don’t use cash much, but when I do, it would be nice to have them around.

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For members


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]