Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 15 Jul, 2021 Updated Thu 15 Jul 2021 03:38 CEST
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The new Wiener Späti doesn't look like a typical grocery store but does provide 24/7 access to a range of products. (Photo by Romeo GACAD / AFP)

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Swiss vegetables are victims of heavy rains

The inclement weather of the past weeks has damaged crops across the country, making locally grown vegetables scarce.

The Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers said that due to continued rain, hail and thunderstorms, there will be shortage of carrots, onions, celery, cauliflower and lettuce — not only this year, but likely until spring of 2022.

"The situation is unlikely to improve in the next few weeks, and we can’t re-sow in this weather," according to Markus Waber, the association’s vice director.

This means Swiss consumers will have to rely more on imports.

READ MORE: ‘Intense continuous rain’: Switzerland extends heavy weather forecast until end of week

Compulsory vaccination is debated in Switzerland

Following the example of France, which is making Covid vaccination for healthcare workers mandatory, similar discussions are ongoing in Switzerland as well.

“Vaccination is the only way to successfully combat this pandemic. Unvaccinated people must be aware of this”, said Andreas Widmer, an infectious disease specialist at the University Hospital in Basel. 

He calls for mandatory vaccination for hospital staff who work with particularly vulnerable people, such as cancer, leukemia or transplant patients.

The debate is likely to get more heated, as many people — including some medical workers — have spoken against obligatory inoculation.

The Swiss government has been emphatic in saying that the vaccine would remain voluntary.

However, in the past Health Minister Alain Berset pointed out that he is “open” to mandating the vaccine for those who work in the healthcare sector and elderly care homes.

“If an employee refuses, then they would have to work elsewhere, in a place where they don’t come in contact with people at risk,” Berset said.

European Union excludes Switzerland from its research programme

After the breakdown of talks between Bern and Brussels in May, the EU is treating Switzerland as a “non-associated third country”.

This means Swiss research projects will no longer receive any funding from the EU, including from Horizon Europe, a multi-billion -euro programme which funds research and innovation throughout the Union.

Home office puts new employees off work

Many people who started their new jobs by working from home during the pandemic have quit after a short time.

That’s because teleworking strengthened their sense of isolation and insecurity.

“Due to the lack of human contact, many new employees can’t situate themselves" in a home job, a representative of Swiss trade union told 20 Minuten news outlet.

As a result, demand for jobs “with direct human contact” has increased, he said.

READ MORE: ‘Home office’: Will the pandemic change the way Switzerland works?

Telework is not everybody's cup of tea. Photo by Ken Tomita from Pexels

Good news on the financial front

The Swiss stock exchange is set to experience a prosperous second half of 2021 amid positive outlook for economic recovery.

After a sharp decline in the first half of the year, trading volumes are expected to be more vigorous in the last six months of 2021.

Brokers active on the Zurich market are optimistic, "because the world economy seems to pick up faster and stronger than expected," according to André Buck, sales manager at SIX, the operator of the Swiss Stock Exchange.


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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/07/15 03:38

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