Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 25 Jul, 2022 Updated Mon 25 Jul 2022 01:41 CEST
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The level of Rhine in Basel is too low for heavy oil tankers.Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Slight relief on the weather front, why the Swiss are not too worried about inflation and other news in Switzerland on Monday.

Weather: this week could bring a bit of relief from extreme heat

While hot weather will continue this week, temperatures will likely not exceed 30 degrees, the seven-day forecast by MeteoNews indicates.

In fact, according to this weather service, temperatures could drop to high to mid-20s — much more reasonable for the season.

It may also get cooler at high altitudes at last: while the zero-degree line during heatwaves usually lies between 4,000 and 4,500 metres, it is currently at an altitude of 5,000 metres.

The Swiss are less worried about inflation than their neighbours

Only one in seven Swiss are making major purchases now to avoid future price increases, while one in four Germans and Austrians are rushing to buy more things to beat the rising inflation.

These are the results of a new study by online retailer Digitec Galaxus, which sought to find out which of the three countries is worried the least and most about inflation.

Only 14.3 percent of Swiss respondents said inflation is source of worry to them, compared to 27.4 percent of Germans and 27.9 percent of Austrians.

The survey noted that the reason for the difference in the “worry level” is that Switzerland’s inflation rate ((3.4 percent in June) is much lower than in neighbour nations — where it is hovering between 7 and 8 percent.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Why Switzerland’s inflation has rate stayed low compared to elsewhere?

Drought complicates oil supply to Switzerland

Lower water levels in Swiss rivers, including the Rhine, impacts oil shipments, according to the Federal Office for Economic Supply (OFAE), which said that cargo ships can’t be as heavy as usual and “the loading capacity of the ships had to be reduced drastically”.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the country will be faced with drought-driven oil shortage.

In order to guarantee the supply of oil, the OFAE has decided to temporarily reduce the mandatory reserves of petroleum products by 245,000 cubic metres until the beginning of September 2022.

This quantity corresponds to around 6.5 percent of all the compulsory reserves set by the government, or around 25 percent of monthly sales”, OFAE) said.

Switzerland urged to boycott Russian gold

Last week, the European Union announced new sanctions against Russia, notably targeting its gold exports. Though Switzerland is complying with all other sanctions adopted by the EU, there have been reports that gold imports have increased sharply in recent months.

“The Federal Council must now also send a strong signal by imposing an embargo on Russian gold", said a humanitarian organisation  Swissaid in a press release, adding that “it is only through these measures that Switzerland "will be able to avoid any risk of financing the war through the gold trade”.

However, the Federal Council is currently on summer break and will not resume its activities, or make any decisions, until August 17th.

READ MORE: Why is Switzerland importing Russian gold?

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/07/25 01:41

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