Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 13 May, 2022 Updated Fri 13 May 2022 07:51 CEST
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Beer: an excellent reason to visit Obwalden. Photo: Pixabay

Why Switzerland's housing options are shrinking, and why air travel is becoming more expensive — read about these developments and other news in our brief daily roundup.

Switzerland could soon run out of housing

While there had been enough accommodations in the country until recently, this is no longer the case, according to a new real estate study by Raiffeisen bank.

This research shows that the number of empty dwellings has drastically decreased, to an extent that Switzerland’s property market has not experienced since 2009.

And this situation is not expected to improve anytime soon. "New construction will have a hard time keeping up with demand," said Martin Neff, Raiffeisen's chief economist.

Another reason for this scarcity is the influx of refugees from Ukraine; nearly 50,000 are now in the country.

“It is not excluded that some of the refugees will remain in Switzerland. This war could therefore have consequences on our real estate market”, Neff said.

Migros introduces parental leave for employees’ partners.

The retail giant has concluded negotiations for the new collective labour agreement, offering, for the first time in Migros’ history, a flexible parental leave for employees or their partners.

 “Of the 18 weeks of the leave, the last four can also be taken by the partner, even if this person is not employed by Migros”, the company announced.

The duration of paternity leave increases from three to four weeks and can be extended by a period of unpaid leave.

Employees also have the possibility of getting 10 additional days of leave per year, as well as unpaid sabbatical of up to three months every five years. Also, low-income families receive supplemental family allowances, according to the terms of the new agreement.

Industry-specific collective agreements, which seek to protect employees’ rights and ensure various benefits, are common in Switzerland.

READ MORE: What is a Swiss collective bargaining agreement — and how could it benefit you?

Significant increase in price of plane tickets

This is not-so-good news for anyone dreaming of going abroad for summer holidays.

That’s because the cost of flights departing from all of Switzerland’s international airports – Zurich, Geneva, and Basel — surged by about 65 percent between January and April, the figure based on data from the Federal Statistical Office.

Among factors responsible for this hike is the higher price of kerosene, but there are other reasons as well: “All airlines are suffering from major capacity problems. They have too few planes and personnel to meet the demand”, according to Hansjörg Bürgi, editor-in-chief of Skynews.ch

Air travel is not the only sector impacted by higher prices. Read about the other ones here:

Seven products that are becoming more expensive in Switzerland

Sorry, Germany — Switzerland has the highest density of breweries in the world

The number of breweries has continued to grow in Switzerland, with 1,278 currently in operation — significantly up from 385 a decade ago.

The highest concentration of beer manufacturers can be found in Obwald, which has 4.2 breweries per 10,000 inhabitants, followed by Nidwalden (2.53), Jura (2.31), and Schaffhausen (2.29).

On the other hand, Zurich and Geneva have only 1.08 breweries per 10,000 people, and 0.75, respectively.

READ MORE: How the Covid crisis led to a boom in Swiss beer production

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 at [email protected]

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/05/13 07:51

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