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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
Swiss or imported? A new label will reveal all. Photo by Schweizer Brot /Pain Suisse

A new way to encourage vaccination: money

Zurich neuropathologist Adriano Aguzzi announced that he would pay 20 francs to anyone who persuades another person to get vaccinated.

He is ready to donate 1,000 francs to the cause and is asking others to contribute money as well, so that 10,000 francs could be collected. “It will then be paid out in installments of 20 francs each to anyone who persuades a hesitant person to vaccinate”, he said.

If successful, his effort could result in 500 inoculations.

However, Michael Bubendorf from the anti-vaccination group “Friends of the Constitution” is opposed to Aguzzi’s campaign.

He said the vaccination can have long-term consequences “that exceed the short-term benefits of a financial boost”.

READ MORE: Half of Swiss population now double-jabbed against Covid

No money incentive, but free vaccination for defaulting premium payers

Normally, people who don’t pay their health insurance premiums are entitled only to emergency or lifesaving medical care.

However, they are still entitled to be vaccinated against Covid free of charge.

Several cantons contacted by SRF public broadcaster said that nobody, including those who are not paying the obligatory health premiums, will be turned away from a vaccination centre, as inoculation against coronavirus is considered to be an essential and vital medical treatment.

A new label to better identify Swiss bread

The association Schweizer Brot / Pain Suisse launched a new label to help consumers  identify whether the bread they buy was made in Switzerland or abroad.

The  label, identifying the bread’s origin as domestic or imported, “will appear prominently on the packaging”.

To qualify as “Swiss”, at least 80  of raw materials, such as grain, flour, and other ingredients, must be sourced locally; the processing and manufacturing has to be done entirely in Switzerland.

This label will allow consumers “to buy a Swiss product of superior quality, rich in nutrients and produced in a sustainable way”, the association said.

Geneva wants to name a street after a local sex worker

Geneva authorities would like to rename the rue de Zurich as rue Grisélidis-Rhéal, the name of an activist sex worker who plied her trade in the city. She died in 2005.

The city also wants to “feminise” 13 of its other streets, changing male names to those of prominent women.

For instance, Esplanade Théodore-de-Bèze would be transformed into Theodelinde Esplanade, in honor of a 5th century Burgundian queen.The municipality is waiting for the green light from the Council of State. 

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

Switzerland ranked the world’s most innovative country, developments on the job market, and other news in our roundup on Friday.

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

Switzerland gets one more honour

After being named the Best Country in the World by US News & World Report this week, Switzerland also won the title of the world’s most innovative nation on Thursday.

This title is bestowed each year by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency headquartered in Geneva.

Switzerland is not exactly a newcomer to this index, having been chosen for the top spot among more than 130 countries for the 12th consecutive year.

Switzerland tops the ranking because “it leads globally in innovation outputs, and specifically in patents by origin, software spending, and high-tech manufacturing”, WIPO said.

READ MORE: Switzerland ranked ‘best country’ in the world

Swiss job market still going strong

New data from Michael Page recruitment agency indicates that jobs are plentiful in Switzerland: 15.6 percent more now than at the same time in 2021.

The strongest increase — 16.7 percent — is reported in the Lake Geneva region, which encompasses Geneva and Vaud.

In terms of jobs, the biggest demand is in the social sector, where the number of job listings has gone up by 48.2 percent.

Next is banking (40.3 percent), followed by administrative positions (37.2). 

Not surprisingly, demand in the energy sector also went up — by 22.8 percent.

Mortgage rates have gone up in Switzerland

The rates have risen sharply since the Swiss National Bank (SNB) increased the key interest rate by 0.75 percentage points on Friday.

New 10-year fixed mortgages, the most popular in Switzerland, saw their rates rise to 3.21 percent, against 2.94 percent in mid-June, according to a new study by Comparis price comparison site.

Rates on other terms also rose, with the five-year mortgage now at 3.0 percent from 2.54 in June. As for the 15-year mortgage, it reached 3.39 percent, compared to the 3.06 percent three months ago.

“The SNB’s decision to raise key interest rates took the markets by surprise”, said Leo Hug, Comparis’ money expert.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What the steep rise in Swiss interest rates could mean for you

Switzerland to go vegetarian tomorrow

On October 1st, the country will be celebrating the “Swisstainable Veggie Day”, with numerous restaurants throughout Switzerland offering “varied and creative” vegetarian meals on this day.

The vegetarian-only menu will also be served to Business Class passengers on board SWISS and Edelweiss planes, and all McDonald’s restaurants will also have only no-meat dishes on this day.

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]