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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
Good news: Swiss chocolate is safe to eat. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Switzerland’s energy resources are depleted

Switzerland’s indigenous energy resources were only sufficient until today; from now on and until the end of the year, the country will subsist “on credit” — meaning it will rely only on the imported oil, gas and uranium.

According to Swiss Energy Foundation (SES), three-quarters of Switzerland’s energy is imported; which includes all petroleum products, natural gas and nuclear fuels.

To diminish its significant dependence on foreign energy sources, especially in view of the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, SES is calling on the Federal Council to accelerate the development and production of alternative, renewable energy.

READ MORE: Ukraine invasion: How reliant is Switzerland on Russia for energy?

Switzerland will again be hit by a cloud of sand

Get ready to head to the car wash again: a new cloud of Sahara dust is heading toward Switzerland and is expected to cover the country in yellow-brown hue by the middle of this week.

However, the news is not all bleak and grimy: after the recent cold snap, the weather will improve, with sunshine and warmer, more seasonal temperatures forecast for the rest of the week, including the Easter weekend.

READ MORE: Reader question: Is Switzerland’s Sahara dust cloud dangerous?

Head of industry group: No salmonella lurking in Swiss chocolate

Last week Italian candy producer Ferrero had to withdraw about 40 of its products from sale across Europe due to salmonella. Among the products taken off the shelves are popular Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs.

The Association of Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers (Chocosuisse) wasted no time in announcing that chocolate produced in Switzerland doesn’t contain similar ‘surprises’.

“Such an incident is highly unlikely. I don’t remember a case like that from a Swiss manufacturer”, said Chocosuisse president Urs Furrer.

The reason, according to, Furrer, is that Swiss chocolate makers have very strict product safety standards, including rigorous control of all the raw materials such as cocoa.

READ MORE: Switzerland: What you need to know about the Ferrero product recall

Tourism sector continues to recover  

The Swiss tourism sector is expected to keep rebounding from the slowdown (and even total shutdown) it had experienced during the Covid pandemic, according to a new a Credit Suisse study.

The promising outlook is due to the easing of travel restrictions in Europe and the United States.

Credit Suisse’s analysis indicates that the number of Google searches for flights to Switzerland has reached  pre-pandemic levels, but it has also shown the reverse trend: the Swiss are interested in spending their summer vacations abroad.

Some events could, however, dampen travel. They include political uncertainly related to the war in Ukraine, as well as the effects of inflation, both of which might discourage non-European tourists from coming to Switzerland, the study found.

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 Tuesday

Unemployed foreigners, sexist work ads, and other news: find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the latest happenings.

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

Zug helps unemployed expatriates find new jobs

Out of the 1,300 current job seekers in Zug, a relatively high proportion of around 300 people are foreign employees. This is due to the fact that an above-average number of international companies — mostly in raw materials, chemical and financial services sectors — are based in the low-tax canton.

However, according to a report by public broadcaster SRF, finding a job is more difficult there because most foreigners in Zug are highly specialised in their fields and can’t easily switch from one industry to another.

The canton is now helping unemployed foreigners back into the job market — for instance, by setting up job fairs where job seekers meet recruiters and companies looking for personnel.

 “Zug is a very attractive job market, and if we help the unemployed expats, many can gain a professional foothold here again”, according to Gianni Bomio, president of the canton’s Association for Labour Market Measures.

READ MORE: MAP: Where do Switzerland’s English-speakers live?

Swiss bank blasted for sexist advert

Postfinance, a financial services unit of Swiss Post, is looking to hire software developers, but only those who  — according to an ad placed on the LinkedIn’s career platform  — “do not devote working hours to the fight for equality”.

Specifically, it seeks employees who want to work out “the difference between 0 and 1 and not between XX and XY” — the former referring to codes and the latter to male and female chromosomes.

While the advertisement was intended to be clever, “with this text, Postfinance is massively devaluing the fight for equality”, said Agota Lavoyer, an expert on sexualised violence.

In its defense, Postfinance responded that its ad was misunderstood.

“The message is that equality is firmly anchored in the culture at Postfinance and is so normal that employees do not have to spend any time on the job thinking about it”, said spokesperson Dörte Horn.

Now is a good time to sell your house

Property prices have skyrocketed in recent months, and a house today costs almost 30 percent more than a decade ago, according to real estate consultancy firm Iazi. And in certain high-demand areas like Zurich and the Lake Geneva region, prices are significantly higher.

Ruedi Tanner, president of the Swiss Chamber of Brokers (CSC) said owners who are selling their properties now “have clearly chosen a good time”.

The demand is such that “in many regions, there are hardly any more offers on the property market”, he added.

READ MORE: Swiss property prices see strongest rise in years

Idyllic Ticino village a hub of criminal activity

When the Italian-speaking canton published its annual statistics recently, many were astonished (and not in a good way) to discover that a small commune of  Riva San Vitale registered 791 crimes in 2021.

This means the crime rate has increased by 1313 percent compared to previous year. “When I read that, I was flabbergasted,” said Antonio Guidali, mayor of the 2,600-resident community.

It turns out, however, that there is no need to rush for bullet-proof vests; according to police reports, only two residents, who committed several hundred cases of insurance fraud, are to blame for the staggering crime rate.

The statistical anomaly occurred because each single case of fraud has been registered as an individual offense.

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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