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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
Manufacturing sector is picking up. Photo by KOF

Lidl Switzerland recalls a toxic sauce

The supermarket chain took off the shelves and recalled its “Italiamo Pesto alla Genovese” sauce as it is likely contaminated with ethylene oxide, a dangerous biocidal agent.

This product, manufactured by Italian company Polli, is not authorised for sale in Switzerland. The recall concerns 190-gramme jars with lot numbers MUC172 and MUC988, and the sell-by date of 03.2024.

Customers should not use this sauce, but bring it back to any Lidl branch in Switzerland. The purchase price will be refunded, even if the receipt is not presented, the retailer says.

Not much hope of good weather for the rest of the summer

So far this summer, Switzerland has been hit by unusually heavy rain and thunderstorms, interspersed  with some (but not nearly enough) sunny and warm days.

Unfortunately, the forecast for the remaining days of summer is not very bright.

According to Christophe Salamin, a meteorologist with MeteoSwiss, temperatures will soon begin to drop.

“The fact that the days are getting shorter means that we will also have lower temperatures in general…sometime between August 15th and 20th “, he said.

READ MORE: UPDATE: How Switzerland’s flood planning helped it avoid disaster

Switzerland faces shortage of slippers

With the new school year to begin  soon, some school supplies are hard to find.

For instance, slippers which children in lower schools have to wear in class are scarce at the moment.

Retailers across Switzerland are reporting shortages of this item, not expecting deliveries before the school year begins in many cantons.

This may prevent numerous students from starting the new school year on the right foot.

The weather is bad, but the economy is looking up

The outlook for the Swiss labour market continues to improve, economists say.    

The improvement seen for months in the labour market appears to be a lasting trend, according to Zurich-based KOF Economic Institute.

Its data shows that employment exceeded its long-term average in the third quarter — the first such development  since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

This trend “points to strong job growth in the coming months”, including in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors, which have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“Banks and the insurance industry are the only exceptions to the generally positive development,” KOF noted.

Beat the queues at Geneva airport

Airports are very busy during the holidays and at times can even become chaotic as thousands of passengers are trying to check in and go through the security line at the same time.

To speed up the process, Geneva airport is launching a new ‘skip-the-line’ pass for its Priority Lane.

To save time at the security check, the traveller has the choice between purchasing a subscription lasting three months (90 francs), six months (140 francs) or 12 months (240). Personal and nominative, this subscription gives passengers an unlimited access to the quick Priority Lane.

The purchase can be made only online in the smartphone Wallet application.

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

Heating with wood to become more expensive, redacted vaccine contracts, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Thursday.

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

Heating with wood is starkly more expensive

It’s not only the prices for fossil fuels, oil and gas that have risen sharply in Switzerland. Even those who rely on alternative energies such as wood as a fuel currently have to dig deeper into their wallets, SRF reported.

The pellets made from pressed sawdust are 46 percent more expensive than a year ago. “In general, we can summarise that the increase is due to higher production costs,” said Peter Lehmann, President of the “proPellets” Association. In addition to processing, wood is also more expensive.

Last year, almost 50 percent more pellet-based heating systems were built than in 2020, which has increased the demand for pellets. However, Lehmann assumes that the price will not decrease in the medium term; wood as a raw material is too much in demand in the current situation.

READ ALSO: Five of the biggest challenges facing Switzerland right now

Swiss government publishes redacted vaccine contracts

After a long period of resistance, the Swiss government disclosed the vaccine purchase contracts. Before that, however, it had redacted them out extensively, Watson reported.

The authorities have kept it a secret even the duration of secrecy, so the Swiss won’t know how long it will take until they can see the complete contracts. The lack of transparency has brought on criticism against the government.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why vaccinations are not mandatory in Switzerland

Almost 10 percent of Ukrainian refugees have found jobs in Switzerland

A total of 9.4 percent of adults possessing a special “S” permit are working, with most employed in the restaurant sector, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) said.

Nearly a quarter of them (23 percent) are active in the restaurant industry. In addition, 17 percent work in the “planning, consulting, IT” sector. Agriculture and education each account for 8 percent of those with the S status.

There are currently 61 424 status S applications in Switzerland, of which 59 411 persons have been granted S status, SEM said.

READ ALSO: 200,000 in 2022: Immigration fuelling Swiss population surge

Federal Council wants to decide on sanction policy in August

Switzerland’s Federal Council wants to discuss whether or not to adopt the so-called “thematic” sanctions of the European Union, Tagesanzeiger said.

These sanctions work differently than those imposed on a specific country. Instead, they allow measures to be taken against individuals, companies and organisations from different countries that violate certain rights. They are primarily concerned about violations regarding chemical weapons, cyber and human rights.

Specifically, in March 2021, the EU decided to sanction some persons, organisations and institutions from North Korea, Libya, Eritrea, South Sudan, Russia and China for serious human rights violations.

The controversial decision could lead to Switzerland sanctioning China, with Minister of Economic Affairs Guy Parmelin against adopting the measures.

READ ALSO: Switzerland bans imports of Russian gold