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Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday

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

More snow is expected to blanket Swiss slopes, making skiing possible in the coming days.
With the new snowfall in the mountains, skiing in Swiss Alps, like in this resort of Verbier in canton Valais, could be possible this weekend. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Get your skis ready, it’s snowing in the mountains!

You heard it here first: snow fell in some parts of the Swiss Alps, including areas with most ski resorts, such as Valais and Graubüden, along with parts of western Switzerland.

“There is snowfall down to 1,500 metres”, according Roger Perret of Meteonews. “In the narrow Graubünden mountain valleys, the snow even goes down to 1,200 meters”.

This looks promising for ski enthusiasts, as even more snow is expected to fall in the mountains on Thursday.

In addition, the snow line will drop to 1,000 metres, and in some places even to 800 meters.

By the end of the week, half a metre of snow can be expected in the higher elevations, according to Perret. “With the additional help of snow cannons, the first ski slopes could be opened on the weekend”.

READ MORE: Winter sports: Which Swiss ski resorts are already open?

Mortality in 2021: “The lowest ever recorded in Switzerland”

Even though the Covid pandemic is not yet behind us, this year will end on a positive note: Switzerland experienced the “lowest ever recorded” mortality level in 2021, according to data released by Unisanté, the University Center of Medicine in Lausanne.

“After a 9.2 percent increase in deaths from the first two coronavirus waves, mortality has decreased this year by about 10.8 percent compared to 2020,” Unisanté announced.

While this trend could still be reversed in November and December due to the increasing number of Covid infections, so far the signs are good, Unisante said.

“This is the second year in a row without a visible impact of influenza on mortality and no third wave of Covid-related mortality has been observed”.

Unisanté also noted that life expectancy, which dropped significantly last year, due to the pandemic  is on the upturn again, with both men and women having recovered “the six months lost in 2020”.

READ MORE: Biggest fall since WWII: How Covid slashed life expectancy in Switzerland

Old Geneva street signs put up for auction

If you always dreamed of owning a part of Geneva, now is your chance to do so.

The city is putting up 300 street signs “steeped in history” for auction starting on November 8th and continuing until the end of the month.

The signs will be available for sale on the online auction site in the “Collections and rarities / plaques / other plaques” section.

They will be auctioned in three phases:

  • Names beginning with the letters A to H: November 8th to 13th, 2021
  • Names starting with the letters I to P: November 15th to 20th, 2021
  • Names beginning with the letters R to Z: November 22nd to 27th, 2021

The starting bid is 50 francs and the increment — that is to say, the sum added to the amount of the auction each time a new bid is placed on the item — is 5 francs, the city said.

This could all be yours. Photo: N. Zermatten / Ville de Genève

Swiss labour market continues to improve

There are more jobs in Switzerland right now, according to the Center for Economic Studies (KOF), which reports that the employment indicator reached its “highest value since the 2008/2009 financial crisis”.

Even in the hotel and restaurant sector, which has been severely affected by health restrictions imposed since the start of the pandemic, a “large majority of the companies surveyed predict employment growth in the coming months”.

This is a hopeful sign “that the significant job losses caused by the Covid-19 crisis are finally over”, KOF said.

Job prospects are also positive in construction, wholesale trade, as well as service and manufacturing industry,  KOF reports.

READ MORE: Five insider tips to find a job in Switzerland

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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For members


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

Swiss pensioners are getting poorer, proposals for Swiss patients to be treated in France, and other news in our roundup on Tuesday.

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

Inflation weighs on Swiss retirement assets

Coupled with relatively low interest rates, the 3.3-percent inflation rate is having a major impact on Swiss occupational pension funds, causing them to shrink by 2 percent.

Overall, purchasing power of pensions is falling and retirees risk losing a whole month’s income; an average retired  couple could lose between 450 and 500 francs, or 8 percent of their pensions, in purchasing power.

READ MORE: Switzerland’s retirees risk losing a whole month’s pension

And there is more bad news for the elderly…

More Swiss seniors are living in poverty

A new study by Pro Senectute organisation for the elderly reveals that over 300,000 seniors in Switzerland are poor, receiving only 2,500 a month to live on.

Regionally, most of them are in Ticino, where 30 percent of pensioners are living in poverty.

On the the other hand, in Basel only 6 percent of seniors are considered poor —the lowest rate in the country, the study found.

READ MORE: MYTHBUSTER: Yes, Switzerland does have people living in poverty

MP suggests Swiss patients should be treated in France

As the costs of healthcare are soaring in Switzerland, MP Philippe Nantermod proposes that residents who live near the French border — for instance, in Geneva, Vaud, and Jura — undergo medical treatment in France, where it is cheaper, and that Swiss insurance should pay for it.

Santésuisse, an umbrella group for health insurance companies, supports this move.

 “It would put  less pressure on the [Swiss] system”, said Christophe Kaempf, spokesperson for the group.

For instance, patients living near the border could consult a French doctor and could buy generic drugs for half the price in France”, he said.

“However, we must ensure that the services there are of equal quality to what we have in Switzerland”. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How Switzerland wants to cut soaring healthcare costs

Temperatures will exceed 20 degrees this week

After falling down sharply in the past few days, with cold and rain prevailing in much of Switzerland, the sun and higher temperatures are making their comeback this week, according to Nicolas Borgognon, meteorologist at MeteoNews

Temperatures will exceed 20C, reaching 23-24C on Wednesday, he said.

The weather will remain mild until this weekend, when “a possible return of showers is expected”.

But “temperatures will remain above seasonal averages until next Sunday”,  Borgognon 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]