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

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

New crypto stamp was just launched in Switzerland
“A milestone in a stamp history”: Switzerland gets its first crypto stamp. Image by Swiss Post

No more adverts for Spanish strawberries at Aldi

A Swiss consumer group has asked the supermarket chain to stop advertising Spanish strawberries in winter because such ads “blur the notion of seasons”.

“When the Swiss berries arrive in May, consumers have already switched to summer fruits”, according to the Consumer Federation of French-speaking Switzerland  (FRC).

The group points out that “local products are superior to foreign ones in terms of sustainability, whether concerning damage to the environment or the lack of protection for agricultural workers”.

For its part, Aldi promised to give up advertising strawberries from Spain outside of the strawberry season in Switzerland.

“Our philosophy is that regional and seasonal products are important. We attach great importance to Switzerland as a country and we are constantly expanding our range of Swiss products”, Aldi noted.

Goodbye summer, see you (hopefully) next year

Although the first official day of autumn was on September 22nd, Switzerland experienced warm and sunny weather in the past week.

However, this will soon change, as meteorologists predict that colder weather is coming our way.

From Sunday afternoon, heavy rain is likely to fall and the snowfall line will drop to the altitude of 1,000 metres at the beginning of the week.

Also from Monday, temperatures will go down significantly to around 10 degrees  in most regions.

People in Switzerland live into their 80s

New data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) shows how life expectancy has risen among Swiss population in the past century and a half.

As the chart below shows, a man born in Switzerland in 1876 was expected to live just 40 years, while a woman born the same year outlived her male counterpart by just a year or so.

The life expectancy curve rose gradually over the next 144 years, with the exception of a dip for people born in 1920.

Boys born in 2020 are expected to live into their late 80s, with girls outliving them by a few years.

Swiss Post’s new  crypto stamp represents “a milestone in stamp history”

For those who are accustomed to using just ordinary paper stamps that you lick and stick on the envelope, here is the explanation of this new concept from the Swiss Post:

“At first glance, the Swiss Crypto Stamp looks like any ordinary stamp. It is self-adhesive, shows the Matterhorn and the moon on a blue background, and has a face value of 8.90 francs. Owners can use it to frank postal items just like any other stamp. But the actual crypto stamp is digital. Every physical Swiss Crypto Stamp provides access to a digital stamp stored in a blockchain”.

If you don’t understand what this means don’t worry, you are not alone.

READ MORE: Swiss Post to increase mail prices for first time in 18 years

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 Tuesday

Higher healthcare premiums, pensions adapted to inflation, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Tuesday.

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

Sharp increase in insurance premiums to be announced

Health Minister Alain Berset is expected to announce the new hikes at a press conference this afternoon.

While the exact increase is not yet known, Santésuisse, the umbrella group for health insurance carriers, predicts that an average hike of 10 percent would be necessary to cover the soaring healthcare costs.

Health spending went up by more than 6 percent, mainly because treatments that could not be carried out in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic had to be postponed to the following year.

The cost of Covid tests and vaccination has also increased the per-capita health spending.

READ MORE: How spiralling costs are jeopardising Switzerland’s healthcare system

MPs approve cost-cutting measures

On Monday, the Council of States decided to fully adapt old-age AHV / AVS pensions to inflation.

And if the increase in cost is 2 percent higher in the course of one year, pensions will have to be adjusted accordingly.

The measure, already previously approved by the National Council, is intended to help low and middle-income households to cope with inflation, rising healthcare premiums, and higher fuel and energy prices.

READ MORE: ‘Extraordinary measures’: What could Switzerland do to ease soaring cost of living?

Online comparator of fuel prices will see the light of day

Even though the Federal Council opposes this move, the MPs have voted on Monday to accept the creation of an app helping motorists to find cheapest gasoline prices at stations in their area.

Deputies have been urging the government to launch such an app, but the Federal Council .refused, noting that while energy prices have indeed soared in the past months, inflation in Switzerland “remains moderate compared to other countries”.

READ MORE: Why the Swiss government doesn’t want a fuel-comparison app

Switzerland’s first dating platform for anti-vaxxers launched

Though the anti-vaccination faction has not been as vociferous in Switzerland lately as during the pandemic, they have now launched a dating site for like-minded people.

The only criteria to join the site — which already has 1,200 members — is to oppose the “Covid gene therapy” and be vaccination-free.

The website states it is used for “charitable and idealistic purposes” and promotes “the holistic development of people and nature”.

Expect colder, wetter weather this week

Starting today and continuing for the next few days, the forecast calls for tempratures ranging from 12C to 14C in much of the country, as well as intermittent rain and wind.

The snow line will drop to 1,400 metres.

The coming days will bring an active cold front with rain and a surge of even cooler air, meteorologists say.

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]