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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
TGV Lyria offers more frequent connections between Switzerland and France. Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP

The Swiss want tougher sanctions against Russia — but there is a “but”

Most Swiss — 56 percent —  would support tougher sanctions against Russia,  even if these measures impact the delivery of oil and gas to Switzerland, and result in a significant rise in energy prices or living costs.

This is a finding of new poll by LINK research institute.

But the public’s support for the government’s anti-Kremlin measures is not unconditional: 58 percent of respondents would not want further sanctions if they should lead to a tax increase for defence costs.

More light shed on American sisters who died in Switzerland

There have been speculations in the past weeks about the reason that drove two apparently healthy and happy sisters from the US state of Arizona to recently take their own lives in a Swiss assisted suicide clinic.

In a new joint statement, two right-to-die organisations, Exit International and Pegasos, explain that the two sisters, Lila Ammouri, 54, and Susan Frazier, 49, died on February 11th at the Pegasos clinic in a Basel suburb of Liestal. The women were members of both these associations.

“Although they had a number of health problems, they were not terminally ill. They expressed a strong wish to die together,” the organisations said.  

The two sisters had first thought of ending their lives on their own. “But fear of possible failure led them to then consider travelling to Switzerland”. 

READ MORE: How were two healthy American sisters able to take their own lives in Switzerland?

Weather forecast: cold snap and more sand head toward Switzerland

Remember the sand from Sahara that covered large parts of the country in yellow-orange hues not long ago? Well, it’s back this week, signalling that long queues will form again at car wash stations.

Also, a spell of warm spring is ending, at least for the time being. Meteorologists are predicting that the  temperatures will drop drastically in the coming days and could even dip below zero degrees by the weekend.

More, cheaper trains between Switzerland and France

After two years of travel restrictions, TGV Lyria trains, operated jointly by Swiss and French national railways, are running at an increased frequency starting this week.   

On the Geneva-Paris axis, there are now eight rather than seven trains each day — one train every two hours between 6 am and 8 pm. Six Paris-bound trains from Lausanne and Zurich are running daily, up from five previously.

And from April 1st tickets will be cheaper — between 31 and 52 francs per trip, according to Fabien Soulet, directeur de TGV Lyria,

READ MORE: Travel: Best night train routes to and from 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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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]

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