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.
Switzerland to buy US fighter jets?
While the official announcement has not yet been made, Swiss media reports that the Federal Council has decided to buy F-35 planes from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
The 6-billion-franc purchase was approved by voters in a referendum in September 2020 to enable the Swiss air force to replace its ageing fleet, but the final decision on where to buy the jets was left to the government.
The other contenders were the Rafale, made by French company Dassault, and the Eurofighter by Airbus.
It is not yet known whether Switzerland’s decision was influenced by Joe Biden’s visit to Geneva last week. In a meeting with his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin, the US president “recalled the excellent quality of US planes”, Parmelin said.
Ticino drivers ranked worst in Switzerland
Drivers in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino suffered the highest number of car accidents between 2016 and 2020. That is 20 percent more than the Swiss average.
These are the findings of a new mobility study carried out by AXA insurer.
Driving behaviour varies from canton to canton.
The best drivers were found to be the canton of Uri, with Schaffhausen’s and Luzern’s drivers also relatively safe. Collision damage claims in those regions were around 10 percent lower than average.
This map shows where the best and worst drivers in Switzerland are.
Switzerland nabs first place as Europe’s most innovative country
Last week Switzerland was selected as the most competitive of 64 economies surveyed by the International Management and Development (IMD) Institute.
Now the European Commission has ranked Switzerland as the most innovative nation, based on its "attractive research system, workforce, digitalisation and well-trained experts".
“Switzerland is the overall Innovation leader in Europe, outperforming all EU Member States”, the report said.
Sweden ranks in the second place in terms of innovation, followed by Finland, Denmark and Belgium.
As far as the most innovative single region in Europe, Zurich placed fifth, behind Stockholm, Etelä-Suomi (Finland) Oberbayern (Germany), and Hovedstaden Denmark.
Most anti-vaxxers live in Swiss -German cantons
There is a particularly large number of people who refuse to be vaccinated against coronavirus in Obwalden — around 40 percent of the population, according to a new analysis by the research institute Sotomo.
There are also many skeptics living in Appenzell Innerrhoden, where 35 percent reject the vaccination. Across Switzerland, that number is is 22 percent.
Anti-vaxxers typically work in agriculture, tend to be low-paid and tend to be younger, the report found.
The fact that that the population of these rural cantons has been less affected by the pandemic could explain why such high percentage of people oppose the vaccine, said Martin Sigg, President of the Obwalden Medical Association.
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