Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Heating with wood to become more expensive, redacted vaccine contracts, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Thursday.
Heating with wood is starkly more expensive
It's not only the prices for fossil fuels, oil and gas that have risen sharply in Switzerland. Even those who rely on alternative energies such as wood as a fuel currently have to dig deeper into their wallets, SRF reported.
The pellets made from pressed sawdust are 46 percent more expensive than a year ago. "In general, we can summarise that the increase is due to higher production costs," said Peter Lehmann, President of the "proPellets" Association. In addition to processing, wood is also more expensive.
Last year, almost 50 percent more pellet-based heating systems were built than in 2020, which has increased the demand for pellets. However, Lehmann assumes that the price will not decrease in the medium term; wood as a raw material is too much in demand in the current situation.
Swiss government publishes redacted vaccine contracts
After a long period of resistance, the Swiss government disclosed the vaccine purchase contracts. Before that, however, it had redacted them out extensively, Watson reported.
The authorities have kept it a secret even the duration of secrecy, so the Swiss won't know how long it will take until they can see the complete contracts. The lack of transparency has brought on criticism against the government.
Almost 10 percent of Ukrainian refugees have found jobs in Switzerland
A total of 9.4 percent of adults possessing a special “S” permit are working, with most employed in the restaurant sector, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) said.
Nearly a quarter of them (23 percent) are active in the restaurant industry. In addition, 17 percent work in the “planning, consulting, IT” sector. Agriculture and education each account for 8 percent of those with the S status.
There are currently 61 424 status S applications in Switzerland, of which 59 411 persons have been granted S status, SEM said.
Federal Council wants to decide on sanction policy in August
Switzerland's Federal Council wants to discuss whether or not to adopt the so-called "thematic" sanctions of the European Union, Tagesanzeiger said.
These sanctions work differently than those imposed on a specific country. Instead, they allow measures to be taken against individuals, companies and organisations from different countries that violate certain rights. They are primarily concerned about violations regarding chemical weapons, cyber and human rights.
Specifically, in March 2021, the EU decided to sanction some persons, organisations and institutions from North Korea, Libya, Eritrea, South Sudan, Russia and China for serious human rights violations.
The controversial decision could lead to Switzerland sanctioning China, with Minister of Economic Affairs Guy Parmelin against adopting the measures.
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