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

Ubers in some Swiss cities allow dogs in cars.
Another first-world problem solved: dogs can now ride in Swiss Ubers. Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

New findings: The Swiss are generally open to diversity

Although Swiss people are thought by some to be xenophobic, a new study by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO)  shows that Swiss population “generally shows openness when confronted with national or cultural difference. In fact, of all the people living in Switzerland, few say they are bothered by the presence of people of different origins”.

However, the level of tolerance towards foreigners differs across the country, according to FSO.

Foreign nationals are “perceived as different” less frequently in the French and Italian speaking regions where many foreigners traditionally live, than in the German-speaking cantons (with the exception of Zurich). 

READ MORE: How do the Swiss really feel about foreigners?

Many international destinations are reachable from Switzerland by train

With many people getting ready to travel abroad over the Christmas holidays, airplanes are not the only options that connect Switzerland with other countries.

This interactive platform shows how various Swiss cities are connected by rail with the rest of Europe.

A departure station can be selected using a search field and points will appear at the destinations that can be reached by rail without having to change trains.

For instance, trains do directly from Zurich to Paris and Dijon in France, the German cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt. Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Venice, Milan and Genoa are reachable from Zurich by train as well.

Other major Swiss cities like Basel, Geneva and Bern are also linked with European destinations by rail.

In Switzerland, Uber is going to the dogs (literally)

Convincing a Uber driver to let you ride with your dog used to be ruff, but that is a problem no more.

The company has just launched the Uber Pet option in its application in Switzerland.

In Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Zurich, Lucerne, Winterthur and Zug, it is now possible to choose a car offering the transport of pets, for an additional 5 francs at the basic rate applied during a trip with the UberX standard product. This supplement is intended to cover the cost of cleaning, the company says.

Uber advises pet owners to keep their “animal on a leash or in a crate while riding in the car.

The Uber Pet option is not a requirement for all drivers. But those who accept animals will be identified on the app.

Mobility assistance animals, such as dogs for the blind or visually impaired, are accepted at no additional cost.

Could unruly fans be banned from Swiss football games?

The Swiss Football League (SFL) announced that it was considering banning away fans at matches following a series of games marked by “reckless and reprehensible behaviour”.

The SFL said its committee had discussed possible measures to combat misconduct around football matches.

“In order to protect peaceful fans, the closure of away sectors is being considered”, it warned.
   
For instance, during the 3-3 draw between Grasshoppers and FC Zurich last week, which was watched by 15,700 fans at the Letzigrund stadium they share, FCZ fans got onto the athletics track surrounding the pitch and hurled pyrotechnics at the Grasshoppers supporters.

 “The clubs and the SFL cannot and will no longer tolerate such a state of affairs, which is causing immense damage to Swiss football as a whole, and are therefore examining the regulatory feasibility of closing the visitor sectors,” the league said.

READ MORE: ‘We don’t like France, Germany or Italy’: How linguistic diversity unites Swiss football fans

Swiss salaries are expected to increase “a little bit” in 2022

Due to inflation, wages are expected to increase very slightly next year in Switzerland.

Adjusted for the effects of inflation, they will go up only by 0.4 percent in 2022, according to a new survey UBS bank carried out among 314 companies.

Many industries should benefit from the increase in nominal wages, most notably the IT and telecom services, the public sector, as well as banks and insurance companies.

Other sectors, on the other hand, will experience lower salary increases, in particular in the media, retail trade, tourism, culture, sport and education.

However, consumption should be strong thanks to savings, which increased from 20 to over 30 percent during the pandemic.

“Over the next few quarters, some of these savings should return to private consumption and support the economy”, UBS said.

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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