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

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21 Jun, 2022 Updated Tue 21 Jun 2022 08:16 CEST
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Photo by Marco Willener on Unsplash

Cross-border agreement partly extended, why over a million people could get Covid in Switzerland this summer and other news from Switzerland on Tuesday.

Cross-border agreement partly extended

The agreements concerning social security contributions and taxes of cross-border employees from France who are still working from home are set to expire on June 30th. Groups representing these workers have been calling on Bern and Paris to renew the arrangement.

The part of the accord that pertains to social security has now been extended until December 31st, 2022, according to an announcement from the Federal Social Insurance Office.

However, the agreement concerning taxation has not yet been prolonged, with the State Secretariat for International Finance saying that discussions in this matter between the two countries “are still ongoing”.

READ MORE: Swiss home-working agreement must be extended, demand cross border groups
 

Over a million people in Switzerland ‘could be infected with Covid’ this summer

While the new wave has not been expected to hit before fall or winter (as has been the case in 2021), health officials now say 15 percent of Swiss population — more than 1 million people — could catch the virus before then.

“More than 80,000 new contaminations per week” are expected in the next two months, according to Tanja Stadler, the former head of the Covid-19 Task Force — much more than during the past two summers.

At the moment, the Federal Office of Public Health reports 16,610 new cases in the past seven days.

There is, however, some positive news.

"The most recent data shows that 97 percent of the adult population in Switzerland has antibodies against Covid thanks to vaccinations and previous infections", Stadler said.

Also, "in the long term, things will stabilise. But in the years to come, there will probably be waves in the summer too".

One in five homeowners at risk of losing their home

As house prices are fall ingfor the first time in years, mortgages are getting more expensive, which means hundreds of thousands of people in Switzerland  risk losing their homes.

The reason: the Swiss National Bank recently increased the key rate from -0.75 to -0.25 percent, meaning that mortgage interest rates, which had already risen in recent months, could go up further.

As a result, “a lot of homeowners are going to have a problem”, real estate expert Donato Scognamiglio said in an interview with Tages-Anzeiger.

READ MORE: What to do in Switzerland if you cannot pay your mortgage

Swiss city hires sheep to mow grass

As The Local recently reported, there is a shortage of qualified personnel in Switzerland to fill available positions.

But not in the Valais capital of Sion, which “hired” four sheep — Ada, Bella, Athéna and Victoire — to cut the grass in city parks.

“These animals will be used for the maintenance of certain plots", municipal authorities announced.

This is a win-win situation for everyone concerned: the sheep will be fed, grass will be cut, and the noise of electric lawnmowers will be eliminated.

The city added that the four sheep “are very sociable”.

 

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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2022/06/21 08:16

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