Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 26 May, 2022 Updated Thu 26 May 2022 08:24 CEST
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No discount is planned to see these stunning views. Image by Andi Graf from Pixabay

From heavy holiday traffic to new tests detecting monkeypox — read about this and other Swiss news in our brief roundup.

Heavy traffic reported as holiday weekend begins

Bottlenecks are reported in many parts of Switzerland as tens of thousands of motorists are on the road during this long Ascension weekend.

For instance, a nine-kilometre long queue has formed at the northern entry to the Gothard tunnel, which leads to Ticino.

For travellers who prefer to take the train during this busy period, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), is “significantly expanding” its service towards Ticino, one of the most popular destinations for public holiday weekends.

“There will be numerous additional trains. We will also be increasing the number of seats available on regular trains”, including between Zurich/Basel and Ticino via the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the company announced.

Roche has developed PCR tests to detect monkeypox

Swiss company Roche has developed PCR tests to detect the monkeypox virus, which has now been detected in numerous countries.

"Roche has quickly developed a new test series that detects the monkeypox virus and helps track its epidemiological spread," said Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics.

According to EU health authorities, more than 200 cases have now been confirmed outside of Africa. A total of 19 countries where the disease does not normally occur have confirmed at least one case, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Wednesday evening.

Two have been detected in Switzerland to date: one in Bern and another in Geneva.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What is monkeypox and what is Switzerland doing about it?

Swiss MPs call for cheaper public transport tickets

In Germany, nine-euro tickets will be available on public transport from June to counteract the high energy prices.

Some Swiss MPs are now calling for a similar scheme in Switzerland. 

“Instead of making petrol and diesel cheaper, the federal government should follow Germany’s example”, said deputy Matthias Aebischer.

However, groups representing Switzerland's transport sector are critical of the idea.

“We want a sustainable solution — the nine-euro ticket is certainly not it", according to Ueli Stückelberger, director of the Association of Public Transport (VÖV).

READ MORE: Why free public transport is illegal in some Swiss cantons

This is what the Swiss will vote on next

The Federal Council submitted the following issues to the next round of nationwide referendums to take place on September 25th:

  • Popular initiative “No to intensive farming in Switzerland
  • Federal decree on the additional financing of the old-age pension by increasing Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Amendment to the federal law on old-age and survivors' insurance
  • Amendment to the federal Law on Withholding Tax

The Local will explain these issues in detail in a future article.

The Swiss vote four times a year.

READ MORE:  How Switzerland’s direct democracy system works

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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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/05/26 08:24

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