Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
More on impending gas shortage, ‘unreliable’ Swiss trains, and other news from Switzerland on Monday.
Candles could become much in demand this winter
As The Local reported last week, Switzerland is at risk of a gas shortage this winter and, depending on the situation, restrictions on consumption during the coldest months can’t be excluded.
As Lukas Küng, head of Organisation for Power Supply in Extraordinary Situations (OSTRAL) explained to Swiss media on Sunday, this could lead to electricity being shut down for four to eight hours each day in some areas.
He added that households would need to stock up on candles — clearly not so much for heating as for light.
Other possible consequences: “traffic would be at a standstill, with light signals out of order and tunnels closed. Public transport would also be paralysed”, according to Küng.
And this leads us to the next question…
Which Swiss communes would be most impacted by gas shortage?
Logically, towns and communities that depend most on gas, versus other energy sources, will be most affected by the shortage.
According to Switzerland's Watson news outlet, which based its calculations on the data from the Federal Statistical Office (OFS), the highest gas consumption in Switzerland is found the Swiss-speaking parts of Switzerland, notably in Vaud,
The 10 most gas-dependent Swiss communes, and the percentage of buildings heated with gas, are as follows:
- Rivaz (Vaud) (70 percent)
- Saint-Saphorin (Vaud) (68)
- Vinzel (Vaud) (67)
- Langenthal (Bern) (64)
- Cossonay (Vaud) (64)
- Soleure (Solothurn) (64)
- Allschwil (Basel-Country) (62)
- Lotzwil (Bern) (61)
- Aigle (Vaud) (61)
- Sierre (Valais) (61)
Double decker trains: ‘Lack reliability and comfort’.
Even though Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) invested 32 million francs in trains intended to shorten the journey on the Lausanne-Bern and on the Winterthur (ZH) - Saint-Margrethen (SG) lines, this goal will not be achieved.
SBB head Vincent Ducrot announced that double-decker trains that Switzerland ordered from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier especially for this purpose shake too much on curves, so they actually have to slow down on turns rather than pick up speed, resulting in a “lack of reliability and comfort”.
Since being put into service in 2018, these trains have also been plagued by a series of technical breakdowns and massive delays, Ducrot said.
Russian hackers attacked Foreign Ministry
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) was a victim of phishing emails, according to a confidential intelligence document from June 24th, as reported in the Swiss media on Sunday.
In these fraudulent messages, the content of which was not made public, Russian cyber criminals attempted to obtain sensitive data, which could serve for espionage or sabotage purposes.
However, the emails were intercepted and deleted, so no security breach took place.
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