Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Continuing inflation and high prices, and a call for more immigrants to boost local workforce: this and other news from Switzerland on Thursday.
No relief from inflation until spring
Inflation in Switzerland has risen from 2.6 percent in April to 3.4 percent in June, and it is expected to increase further in the foreseeable future, according to economists.
“We probably won't see a clear easing on the price front before the spring”, said Jan-Egbert Sturm from KOF Economic Research Center at ETH Zurich.
Another Swiss economist, Klaus Wellershoff, is no less pessimistic. “We are going to see long-term inflation, higher than what we are used to”, he noted.
Finance Minister in favour of more immigrants
Despite being a member of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which is known for its anti-foreigner rhetoric, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer is recommending that Switzerland takes in more immigrants from outside the European Union / EFTA to fill some job vacancies, especially in research and IT.
"I think we need to slightly increase the quotas for people from third countries," he said. The current quota for non-EU employees is 8,500.
For Simon Wey, chief economist at the Swiss Employers' Union, Maurer’s stance makes sense.
"In an often dry labour market, companies must have the possibility to recruit more staff from third countries as there are there are shortages of highly specialised personnel”, he pointed out.
However, before hiring workers from third countries, companies must prove that they can’t fill the vacancy with candidates from Switzerland, the EU or EFTA countries.
Geneva to pay France 343 million francs
This is the amount that the canton, which employs more than 90,000 workers from France, will pay the neighbouring French departments of Haute-Savoie and Ain.
Cross-border commuters are taxed in Geneva and while most of this money remains in Switzerland, a portion is paid to the employees’ respective countries of residence or regional authorities in that country.
This money is intended to compensate for the public charges incurred by cross-border workers in their French municipalities. The funds are supposed to be used for infrastructure projects of regional importance, in particular those managing mobility on both sides of the border.
Swiss property prices continue to rise
House and apartment prices continue to increase sharply, mostly due to “the extremely limited supply”, according to a new study by the Raiffeisen bank.
The biggest increase — 3.5 percent — is for apartments, while the price of single-family homes rose by 1.3 percent.
At a regional level, the highest prices prices (up by 12.8 percent) are in the French-speaking part of the country, followed by northwestern Switzerland (10.4 percent), the study found.
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