Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 26 Jul, 2022 Updated Tue 26 Jul 2022 02:08 CEST
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This year's National Day may have to be celebrated without fireworks.

New rules for August 1st celebrations, refund of scammed money, and other news in our roundup on Tuesday.

August 1st could be without fireworks in many parts of Switzerland

Due to high temperatures and persisting drought, a number of cantons and municipalities have banned the traditional fireworks on their territory, extending the ban to open fires as well.

Among them are, to date, Graubünden, Ticino, Thurgau, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Uri, Glarus, Vaud, Valais, Neuchâtel, and Fribourg.

Certain Zurich municipalities have prohibited this practice as well.

If your canton or commune has introduced such bans you have been notified with a flyer deposited in your mailbox.

READ MORE: Body stress, drought and borders: How the heatwave affects Switzerland  

Flixtrain plans to connect Zurich and Munich

After launching its 10-franc-one-way fare from Berlin to Basel in June, the German low-cost transport provider Flixtrain is eyeing its next route, between Munich and Zurich.

“We are already seeing an extremely strong demand”, Flixtrain CEO Matthias Müller said.

However, the new line will not go into service anytime soon, as currently Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) have the monopoly over the rail network and also because the Transport Staff Union has complained about Flixtrain’s possible wage dumping — a charge that Müller denies.

READ MORE: Basel to Berlin for 10 francs: Flixtrain expands to Switzerland

Heatwave changes travel habits of Swiss tourists

Mediterranean nations have long been favourite holiday destinations of Swiss tourists, but their travel behaviour has changed due the heatwave.

A new study cited by Swiss media shows that while in the past many Swiss spent their summer vacations on islands like Mallorca, Crete and Cyprus, the preference for these destinations “has now shifted towards fall”, according to Swiss tour operator Kuoni.

Because of intense heat in Europe, Swiss tourists “are slowly but surely turning to cooler regions”, in the summer, Kuoni added.

US consumer protection agency to refund Swiss victims of fraud

In the past years, US company Next-Gen has deceived millions of people all over the world, including in Switzerland, with its sweepstakes scams.

The scheme involved the promise of a large cash prize in exchange for a comparatively small fee paid in advance, but nobody received any prizes.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has notified the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) that some of the money paid to Next-Gen fraudsters will be refunded.

The FTC will be contacting victims of the scam in Switzerland in the coming months, in order to process these refunds. The deadline to claim the refund is October 17, 2022.

More information on the refund programme can be found on the FTC's website.


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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/07/26 02:08

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