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TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

Health insurance premiums to rise, authorities could ban electric heaters, recession worries ease and more news from Switzerland on Monday.

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Swiss homes are getting more expensive. (Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash)

Unemployment remains at 2 percent in Switzerland

In Switzerland, unemployment remains at a very low level, Watson news site reported. At 2 percent, the unemployment rate is as low as over twenty years ago.

At the end of July, 91,474 people were registered as unemployed at the Regional Employment Centers (RAV). This is 1,037 less than in June and 36,805 less than a year ago, as the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) announced Monday.

Last month, fewer people in Switzerland were looking for a job. According to Seco, the number of job seekers continued to decline by 5,629 compared to June to 163,315. A year ago, almost 220,000 job seekers were registered with the RAV.

READ ALSO: When is best to look for a job in Switzerland?

Health insurance premiums to rise in 2023

Health insurance premiums are set to rise by almost 10 percent in some cantons, with the highest increases in Ticino, Neuchâtel, and Graubünden, the new site NZZ writes.

According to an Accenture study, the prices need to “catch up” to higher costs in the health care system. But the corona pandemic and various special effects would also have contributed to the current situation.

READ ALSO: How is the Swiss healthcare system different from the rest of Europe?

Authorities threaten to ban electric heaters

The Federal Office for Economic State Supply (BWL) fears that there may be a lack of electricity in an already tight power supply due to many additional mobile electric heaters over the winter, Tagesanzeiger reports. “In this context, the use of electrical appliances could be restricted or prohibited,” says business administration spokeswoman Evelyne Kobelt.

The basis for the ban or a restriction would be the State Supply Act, which provides for such restrictive measures in the event of a severe power shortage.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why you should hold off on buying electric heaters in Switzerland

No recession for Switzerland, forecasters say

Switzerland does not expect to dip into recession this year despite the threat of an energy supply squeeze, the government’s chief economist said Sunday.

The Swiss economy is “doing well” despite the impact of the war in Ukraine on energy prices, Eric Scheidegger told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper.

He said it was down to companies to steel themselves for the possibility of power shortages in the winter months.

“We may have to revise our economic forecast downwards for next year. The revised forecast will be published on September 20. However, we do not expect a recession for this year,” Scheidegger said.

“We run the risk of an energy supply bottleneck in winter. If there are persistent production interruptions in the EU and we ourselves have a gas shortage, it becomes problematic.

Sperm banks are preparing for increased demand

Sperm banks in Switzerland are getting ready for higher demand after same-sex marriage was approved in the country and artificial insemination is allowed for lesbian married couples.

Since July, with the entry into force of marriage for all, female couples have had access to artificial insemination. And already, Swiss sperm banks have waiting lists, reports the SonntagsZeitung.

Among them is the “OVA IVF Clinic” in Zurich, which can’t offer new appointments for the first consultations until next December. However, its director, Peter Fehr, believes this influx should stabilise after the initial peak. His clinic should then help 30 to 50 lesbian couples become mothers each year.

READ ALSO: ‘Deviance and morality’: The history of the same-sex marriage movement in Switzerland

Sunny and hot in Switzerland this Monday

The weather should be sunny and hot today in Switzerland, according to the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss.

Temperatures will be between 16C and 29C in Geneva, 15C and 32C in Sion, 14C and 27C in Bern, 14C and 30C in Basel, 16C and 27C in Zurich, 17C and 27C in Chur, and 16C and 30C in Lugano.

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

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TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

Geneva is facing a strike, over 100 types of medications to become scarce, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Thursday.

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

Geneva public workers and bus, tram drivers announce a strike

Public administration employees will go on strike on October 12th — the action which will include public transportation workers as well.

Their unions demand a 5-percent increase in pay to cover the higher cost of living caused by inflation and rising healthcare premiums. 

This would be the first of two strike actions announced for this month — SWISS pilots are also set to strike on October 17th, unless the airline meets their demands before that date.

READ MORE: SWISS pilots threaten an October strike action

Switzerland is facing a drug shortage

The supply of medicines is experiencing increasing problems in Switzerland, according to the Federal Office for Economic Supply (OFAE).

Currently, the supply of 111 life-saving drugs is disrupted, including antibiotics and pain killers, OFAE reports.

The reasons for this range from lack of transport capacity to a shortage of raw materials, linked either directly or indirectly to the war in Ukraine.

The Swiss job market has reached its peak

While still booming, the employment market “appears to have plateaued”, according to the Adecco Group Swiss Job Market Index released on Wednesday.

“Growth in the labour market is starting to stall”, said Yanik Kipfer, Swiss Job Market Monitor.

“The post-Covid bounce-back seems to be over, as international economic uncertainties are putting the brakes on job growth, including in Switzerland.”

However, demand is still high in certain sectors, including mechanics, technicians, and watch industry workers.

“Whether this trend continues will depend on how well companies deal with rising energy costs and a slowing global economy,” said Marcel Keller, Swiss market manager at Adecco. quoted in the document.

Russian deserters could get asylum in Switzerland

Switzerland could grant asylum to Russians who refuse to fight in Ukraine and are deserting abroad but only if they are eligible.

While only 31 have asked for asylum in September, it is more than in previous months, according to State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), with more still expected to apply.

Although conscientious objection — refusal to serve in armed forces on moral grounds — is not a reason for asylum in Switzerland, their request could be granted nevertheless.

“If there is a good chance that they would be drafted into military service if they were returned to Russia, an application for asylum would probably be approved”, said Alberto Achermann, professor of Migration Law at the University of Bern.

“However, if it turns out that someone is not fit for military service and the chance that they would be drafted in Russia is close to zero, the asylum application would probably be rejected and the person returned”

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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