SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

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

More job seekers are finding employment online. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
More job seekers are finding employment online. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Swiss epidemiologist: ‘Omicron is an endemic virus’

Health Minister Alain Berset, as well as a number  of infectious disease specialists, have been referring to Omicron variant as “endemic”. What exactly does this mean?

“An endemic virus circulates constantly in a population, with ups and downs”, said Julien Riou, epidemiologist at the University of Bern.The flu, for example, is an endemic virus, “which comes back every winter more or less strongly, depending on factors like the temperature, the number of contacts between people, and especially the immunity of the population”.

Riou added that  in terms of the current pandemic “we think we are in a transition phase and heading towards endemisation”.

READ MORE: Swiss government: Omicron may be ‘beginning of the end’ of pandemic

Men’s pension is twice as high as women’s

There are large gaps between the retirement benefits received by men and women in occupational pensions — the so-called ‘second pillar that is paid in addition to AHV / AVS— according to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

The median of the old-age pension paid for the first time in 2020 amounted to 2,081 francs per month for men against 1,167 francs for women.

These significant differences are due to the type of employment. Women typically experience more frequent work interruptions and part-time jobs, mainly for family reasons. Also, women often have lower wages, contribute less to occupational pensions and therefore receive fewer benefits when they retire.

“Domestic and family work, which is more often done by women, is unpaid and does not count toward old-age pension benefits,” the FSO said.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about retiring in Switzerland

More Swiss jobs are advertised online

If you are looking for new employment in Switzerland, searching on the internet may prove productive.

In 2021, 40 percent more job vacancies across all regions were found on the jobs.ch and jobup.ch platforms.

This surge shows “a very positive image of the Swiss labour market”, according to JobCloud recruitment agency.

The strongest increases were recorded in the catering and tourism sector (+181 percent), security (+77 percent), and sport and culture (+74 percent). On the other hand, the number of openings in construction and architecture fell by 25 percent, while in IT and telecoms it declined by 7 percent.

Pfizer submits authorisation request for new Covid treatment

New oral drug, Paxlovid, is undergoing a rolling review process by the Swissmedic regulatory agency.

The manufacturer, Pfizer, submitted pre-clinical and clinical results, but under the rolling review process, a complete data is not required immediately, according to Swissmedic.

Further data will follow on a continuous basis as soon as it becomes available.

“This accelerates the review process while at the same time preserving the same level of careful checking of all requirements relating to safety, efficacy and quality”, Swissmedic 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]

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

From a solid approval of all the issues in Sunday's referendum to higher beverage prices: 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 Monday

The Swiss say ‘yes’ to three proposals in Sunday’s referendum

Voters in Switzerland have accepted all three of the Federal Council’s proposals, rejecting, at the same time, opponents’ arguments.

The law making organ donation opt out across the country was approved by 60.20 percent, providing more money and staff to controversial EU border protection agency Frontex passed with 71.48 percent, and Lex Netflix – which makes streaming services pay a percentage fee to support Swiss filmmaking – passed with 58.42 percent.

READ MORE: Swiss back ‘Netflix’ law and steer clear of ‘Frontexit’

Read about the reactions in Switzerland to the vote results in our article to be published later today.

Price of beverages is soaring in Switzerland

Another popular product is becoming more expensive: non-alcoholic beverages.

“The price of PET [bottle] is skyrocketing, and with it that of mineral water and soft drinks”, according to a report in 20 Minuten.

“And there is a risk of further price increases.”

For instance, prices per litre of mineral water are now 5 to 10 cents higher, depending on the retailer. 

Of the four major retailers that the newspaper surveyed — Migros, Coop, Aldi and Lidl — only Coop has not yet increased the price of beverages, although its spokesperson conceded the company “cannot currently rule out price adjustments,” due to higher cost of raw materials, the shortage of packaging material, and the increased transport and energy costs.

Beverages have joined a growing list of other everyday products whose prices have increased due to inflation and war in Ukraine.

READ MORE: Seven products that are becoming more expensive in Switzerland

Migros gets tough on “unscrupulous” customers

Due to a growing number of shoplifters, some self-service Migros stores in Zurich are installing special barriers allowing only those who pay for their purchases to exit the store.

Customers who pay at self-checkout terminals must now scan the QR code of their receipt to open a barrier and leave with their purchases.

This is a rather drastic measure, “as Migros and Coop have so far relied on individual responsibility and random checks”, according to Tagblatt newspaper.

Russians critical of the Putin regime want to remain in Switzerland

A number of Russian women in Switzerland, who have criticised the war on social media and are therefore afraid of repercussions from the Kremlin, are asking the Federal Council to grant them asylum.

“I can understand that these women are concerned,” said Ulrich Schmid, Professor of Russian Culture and Society at the University of St. Gallen. “It is possible that the Russian secret service reports on people who are critical of the war”.

Should Russian deserters and opponents of the war get asylum in Switzerland? MPs’ views diverge.

For a Green MP Balthasar Glättli, Switzerland should grant these war objectors humanitarian visas.

However, according to Thomas Aeschi from the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), “Switzerland should treat all asylum seekers equally”, pointing out there are many people in other countries “who are also threatened”.

According to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Russians who remain in Switzerland can apply to their canton of residence to extend their existing residence permit. “It will be checked whether they meet the legal requirements for this”, SEM said.

READ MORE: Reader question: Do Russians now have to leave 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]

SHOW COMMENTS