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SWISS NEWS

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

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 Friday
Switzerland will test pilots' alcohol and drug level. Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

Covid pass to be unveiled this afternoon

The Federal Council is planning to present Switzerland’s immunity / Covid certificate at a meeting today and open a pilot phase. The first certificates could be distributed on June7th, but they can’t be used until July 1st

After a person received their shots, a vaccination centre will enter a confirmation on a special website, then receive in return a code with patient’s name. The person can then print out this tamper-proof QR code, or scan the app the smartphone.

Parliament to debate Swiss-EU relations

The two chambers of the parliament – the Council of State and National Council —will hold a debate on June 15th to address urgent questions concerning the future of research programmes, as well as education and training projects that are part of bilateral  treaties  between Switzerland and the European Union.

MPs, along with various political parties and other groups want to know how the Federal Council, which called off negotiations with the EU on May 26th, is planning to ensure a stable and reliable relationship with the bloc.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Why did Switzerland call off EU talks and what are the consequences?

‘Sharing Saturday’ will take place in Geneva and Lausanne

The charitable initiative which encourages supermarket customers to purchase and donate food for the poor, will be held in Geneva and Lausanne on June 5th.

The aim of this action is to collect essential goods for the benefit of people living in precarious financial circumstances.

At the entrance of participating supermarkets, volunteers offer tote bags to clients to fill with non-perishable food and hygiene items.

All the collected merchandise will be distributed free of charge to local associations and social services based on their needs. The organisers of the event are counting “on the solidarity and generosity of all citizens”, orgnisers said.

Drivers of noisy cars will be penalised

Owners of cars and motorcycles that are deemed too loud will receive higher  fines, Swiss MPs decided.

Higher fines will be given to owners of unlawfully modified and other very loud vehicles, deputies said, while also examining the possibility of withdrawing the driving license, prohibiting particularly noisy cars from driving on certain roads, and even confiscating the vehicle altogether.

 Airplane pilots to be subjected to random alcohol tests

The National Council approved a measure for better control of alcoholism and other addictions among pilots.

As a result of the new measure it will become possible to perform random alcohol tests on the tarmac; currently, they are carried out only if there is a suspicion.

The revision of the law on aviation will allow Switzerland to adapt to European rules, revised following the accident of a Germanwings company plane in 2015. The pilot, on antidepressants, had crashed the aircraft in the French Alps.

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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