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TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

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

Swiss workers need wage rises and rent prices rise in Zurich in the latest roundup of news from Switzerland on Tuesday.

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

Swiss workers should get wage increase of ‘up to 5 percent in 2023’

Trade Union Travail Suisse has demanded a general wage rise of between 3 and 5 percent for all workers in the country in 2023.

The rise would allow workers to cope with the rising cost of living in the country as well as to compensate workers for an increase in productivity.

Thomas Bauer an economist from Travail Suisse argues that Switzerland’s economy is in good health at the moment but workers have seen little benefit in terms of wage rises. They have only see prices rise and stress levels increase.

“That has to change urgently,” he said.

That argument was echoed by Johann Tscherrig from the Syna trade union who said: “All workers must get their fair share of the fruits of growth” as they work “to the maximum of their abilities”.

READ ALSO: FACT CHECK: How accurate are the ‘five reasons not to move to Switzerland’?

Rent prices stable in July but increase in Zurich

Rent prices in Switzerland did not see an increase last month for the first time in a year, according to the property site Homegate.

But although July saw prices stagnate or even sightly decrease, the bigger picture shows that rents continue to rise, especially in Switzerland’s cities.

Over the last year they have increased 2 percent in Switzerland as a whole and as much as 6.4 percent in Zurich.

The canton of Graubünden saw a 4.3 percent rise compared to last year whilst rents in the cantons of Nidwalden (+7.3%) and Schwyz (+4.7%) also rose steeply.

Homegate put the general rise down to the fact that “both the number of vacant homes and the number of building permit applications are down, while demand remains high due to immigration.”

READ ALSO: REVEALED: Where in Europe have house prices and rent costs increased the most?

Wolf population in Alps growing exponentially

The number of wolves in the Alps continues to grow but there are concerns that available habitat will soon become too restricted as the population of the wild animal grows exponentially.

The organisation Groupe Loup Suisse (Swiss Wolf group) said the wolf population across the Alps was growing by 25 percent to 30 percent each year.

With around 300 wolf packs living in the Alps this summer the population has occupied around half the habitable area – given that each wolf pack needs around 250 square kilometres of territory on average.

Groupe Loup Suisse estimates therefore that the Alps has around enough space for a viable population of 800 packs.

The organisation believes it’s vital to implement measures to better protect livestock from wolf attacks.

READ ALSO: Swiss organisation again calls for volunteers to scare wolves away

Chimney sweepers in high demand

The high oil and gas prices are scaring Swiss homeowners and many are not getting ready to heat their homes with wood, broadcaster SRF reported.

With that, chimney sweep services are more sought after than ever, with businesses booked weeks ahead, especially in rural areas, where wood stoves and fireplaces are more common. But inquiries from homeowners in larger cities are also increasing, the head of the Association of chimney sweeps Switzerland Paul Grässli says.

He reminds people to have their fireplaces and stoves checked regularly by professionals to avoid accidents. “If the fireplace has not been used for years, it could be dangerous, he says.

READ ALSO: How can you save on your household energy bills in Switzerland?

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