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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
A glass of Swiss milk will probably be pricier starting in the spring. Photo by Fá Romero from Pexels

Health experts were right: Covid infections in Switzerland keep falling

From over 40,000 new infections registered on February 1st, the latest tally (on February 21st) stood at 32,317 cases recorded from Friday until Monday — roughly 10,000 per day.

It is too early to say whether the numbers will continue their downward path in a sustained manner because it will take a few weeks to assess the impact of  the lifting of Covid measures last Thursday.

For now, however, it appears that the pandemic is waning, as this chart from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) demonstrates.

Image:FOPH

Dairy products will soon cost more

Milk prices are skyrocketing around the world and Switzerland is no exception.

“Swiss dairy producers will probably charge around three centimes more per kilo of milk from April or May”, said Pierre-André Pittet, vice-director of the Federation of Swiss Milk Producers.

This increase will also be reflected in the price of dairy products like yogurts, butter and cheese.

The reason for this price hike is higher costs involved in farming in general, and milk production in particular.

READ MORE: How the cost of living will change in Switzerland in 2022

Residents in eight cantons ‘overpay’ their rent.

An average monthly rent in Switzerland is 1,373 francs, according to a new analysis by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

However, tenants in eight cantons — including the traditionally expensive markets like Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Zug and Vaud —  pay about 1,750 francs in rent.  

Residents of the 18 other cantons fall below the national average in terms of rent, but only Jura tenants pay less than 1,000 francs for their dwellings.

Image: FSO

READ MORE: In which Swiss canton can you find a rental bargain?

Switzerland could end up on EU’s “dirty money” blacklist— again

In view of a recent data leak showing that Credit Suisse bank accepted money from illicit sources, the European People’s Party (EPP) has called on the EU to “re-evaluate Switzerland as a high-risk money-laundering country” and add it to the list of nations at high risk for financial crime.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: How the latest banking scandal has damaged Switzerland’s reputation

Switzerland is no stranger to this list: in 2017, the country was placed on it  because “it intentionally attracted foreign investors by allowing corporations and wealthy individuals to pay a low, lump-sum tax on the money they kept in Swiss banks”.

However, Switzerland was removed from the list in 2019 because that year Swiss voters accepted a legislation which introduced major changes in the Swiss tax system by ending some preferential tax schemes and replacing them with new regulations which are in line with international standards.

‘Swiss Secrets’: What would EU blacklisting mean for 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

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

From online scams to avoid to hot weather forecast: find out what's going on on Friday in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

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

Campaign launched against online shopping scams

Swiss police are warning the public against online shopping scams, including  the latest one, involving the activation of an online payment system that allows scammers to make several online purchases at the expense of the victim.

The best way to protect yourself and not fall prey to scammers, police say is to:

  • Always verify the sender and amount when receiving a payment request;
  • Never transmit a confirmation code to third parties;
  • Always check account statements;
  • Immediately report any suspicious transactions;
  • Report any such crime to the police.

All the advice and recommendations can be found on this website.

READ MORE:  How to avoid the most common online scams in Switzerland

Free travel for Ukrainian refugees to end

Since March 21st, refugees from Ukraine have traveled free of charge in on public transportation in Switzerland, a service which was provided by the federal government.

This perk, however, will end from June 1st.

“This free travel saved us from considerable administrative work, as these people would have had to be issued transport cards for each stage of their registration procedure”, according to Anne Césard, spokesperson for the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

A number of MPs are challenging this decision, however.

 “If these people can no longer travel for free, this will constitute an additional obstacle to their chances of integration, knowing that the financial aid granted to them is very low”, said Pierre-Yves Maillard.

“As long as the majority of these people cannot meet their needs sufficiently, we must continue to help them by extending this free service, even if it is in the form of a subsidy”, said another deputy , Benjamin Roduit.

United States impressed by Swiss sanctions

The US government has praised what Switzerland has done so far in the search for Russian funds to block, according to Scott Miller, the American ambassador to Switzerland.

Bern has made “immense progress” in freezing about  6.3 billion francs, belonging primarily to Russian oligarchs with ties to president Putin.

“This is a package of sanctions of a weight and breadth that, to be honest, have never been seen in the world”, he added.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Why Switzerland is a magnet for Russian money
 

Get ready to be very hot today

If Swiss meteorologists got it right, temperatures will reach the high of 32 degrees today.

“The current heat wave is relatively extreme for a month of May”, said meteorologist Joshua Gehring from official weather service MeteoSwiss.

Screenshot MeteoSwiss

The reason: “What we are currently experiencing, that is to say a relatively early heat wave, is a direct consequence of climate change”, Gehring noted.

READ MORE: Heatwave: Why is it so hot in Switzerland right now?

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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