Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.
Putin arrives in Geneva in early afternoon
Russian president Vladimir Putin is expected to land in Geneva at 12.30 to commence talks with his US counterpart Joe Biden, who arrived on Tuesday.
As a reminder, sections of Geneva have been closed off to traffic and the city is under tight police and military security today.
This map by Geneva authorities shows which areas of the city should be avoided:
Epidemiological situation is greatly improved
The latest numbers released by the Federal Office of Public Health show how well Switzerland is doing in terms on managing the Covid pandemic.
The number of daily infections, deaths and hospitalisations has dropped sharply over the last several weeks due to the accelerated vaccination campaign, and the R-rate, which indicates how quickly the virus spreads through the country, has dropped below the treshold if 1 and now stands at 0,65.
Good news also on the economy front
Switzerland is expected to experience an even better-than-expected economic rebound in the wake of the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has sharply raised its GDP growth forecast to 3.6 percent for 2021, from an expected increase of 3.0 percent so far.
“The domestic economy has begun to recover rapidly… Switzerland’s GDP is expected to grow significantly in the second quarter of this year”, SECO said.
“Provided that the planned easing of measures can be implemented as intended, the economic recovery is likely to become more widespread as time goes on”, it added,
High-tech gift for Joe Biden
Swiss president Guy Parmelin presented his US counterpart Joe Biden with an unusual gift when the two met in Geneva on Tuesday evening.
It is a high-tech mirror that projects Biden’s image using a computer algorithm.
The mirror was developed by scientists at the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Lausanne (EPFL).
More than 100 foreigners were denied entry to Switzerland in 2020
The Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) issued a total of 167 entry bans in 2020, according to its new annual report.
Here are the details:
- 144 entry bans were issued for terrorism in compared to 65 in 2019.
- Four entry bans were pronounced in connection with organized crime, compared to 12 in 2019
- 19 entry bans were issued by the Intelligence Service, compared to 70 in 2019.
- Three expulsions were also ordered in 2020.