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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
In German only: consumers in French-speaking Switzerland are not happy. Photo by Laura James on Pexels.

Swiss health insurance premiums to rise minimally in 2022

The increase in the premiums will likely be less than 1 percent, according to consumer information organisation, Comparis.ch — even though the overall cost of health care is expected to grow by 2 to 3 percent.

Among the factors that will help keep the cost of premiums from skyrocketing — as was the case in previous years —is the growing proportion of people opting for alternative models in basic insurance and the decline in the price of medicines.

Covid-19 Task Force to be downsized

Due to the progress of the vaccination programme and the much improved epidemiological situation in the country, the number of experts in Switzerland’s Covid-19 Task Force, which advises the Federal Council on ways to combat the disease, will be reduced this summer.

‘Switzerland is well on its way to overcoming the crisis”, said Task Force member Tanja Stadler,.

However, she warmed that despite the positive evolution,  “we must remain vigilant. We don’t know, for instance, how new mutations will affect vaccine effectiveness”.

READ MORE: Covid-19 update: The stats that show Switzerland is winning the pandemic battle

The pandemic has made Switzerland more vulnerable to terrorist attacks, experts say

The health crisis has increased the potential for physical and digital attacks on Switzerland, according to a new report by the Federal Intelligence Service (NDB).

Specifically, the pandemic paved the way to protests and demonstrations that could be used by both right and left-wing extremists to commit acts of violence, the NDB warned.

The increased reliance on the Internet during the shutdown has also offered more opportunities for cyber criminals to strike. This means that more companies could be attacked and supply chains could be disrupted, the agency pointed out.

Product labeling: not only Deutsch, bitte

More and more cosmetic and food products sold in Switzerland list their ingredients and other mandatory information in only one national language, German.

That’s because the legislation requiring product labeling in three national languages was repealed and new regulations entered into force in May.

The aim is to facilitate imports from the European Union.

“This phenomenon annoys French-speaking consumers, because they don’t feel recognised” in their own country, according to the French-speaking Federation of Consumers.

The organisation wants products to be labeled in the language of the region in which they are sold, regardless of where they are manufactured.

An online tool to see whether you are earning enough

A wage calculator created by the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions (SGB) allows employees to check within seconds whether their salaries are high enough.

The SGB programmed the calculator with the latest salary levels from 72 industries and 36,000 companies.

By inputting information such as the number of years spent working in a given position, the online calculator computes customary local wages for the job in question.

READ MORE: REVEALED: What are the best and worst paid jobs in Switzerland?

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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