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] • 22 Aug, 2022 Updated Mon 22 Aug 2022 07:33 CEST
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SWISS is recruiting foreign cabin crew willing to work for less money. Image by Tom von Strong from Pixabay

Fears of rebellion over gas shortage, possibility of lower pensions for retirees, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Monday.

Gas shortage: authorities fear rebellion and looting

As the prospect of gas shortage becomes more real in Switzerland, officials draw grim scenarios.

“A blackout would have significant consequences”, Fredy Fässler, president of the Conference of Directors of the Cantonal Justice and Police Departments (CCDJP), said in an interview with Swiss media this weekend.

“Imagine: you can no longer withdraw money at the ATM, use credit cards, the heating no longer works, and the streets are plunged into darkness”.

As a result, Fässler’s group “very seriously” worries that the population rebels or that “there is looting at night, and that such a situation can quickly spiral out of control”.

CCDJP is calling on the government to prepare for such extreme scenarios, just in case they do happen.

Swiss retirees at risk of losing a whole month's pension

The purchasing power of pensions is falling due to inflation, according to the Swiss Trade Union Confederation (SGB).

Based partly on forecasts calling for the increase in health insurance premiums by 7.5 percent for next year, an average pensioner couple could lose between 450 and 500 francs, or 8 percent of their income, in purchasing power.

This prospect “is shocking”, said the SGB's chief economist, Daniel Lampart, demanding that old-age benefits (AHV / AVS), as well as the second pillar, are automatically adjusted to inflation.

The SGB is also calling for the government to institute a 13th AHV / AVS pension, as is the case with Swiss salaries.

READ MORE: Health, prices, and safety: Is Switzerland a good country to retire in?

SWISS airlines recruiting foreign cabin crews

If you hold a EU passport but are dreaming of working in Switzerland, this may be your opportunity: the national flagship carrier is recruiting staff for its Zurich hub.

The reason why SWISS is turning abroad to remedy the shortage of flying personnel is not so much a wish for diversity as an economic necessity: "for the Swiss, being an air hostess, steward or pilot is no longer financially attractive"; 20 Minutes reports.

According to the current collective labour agreement, on-board staff earn 3,400 francs gross salary during their first year of service — much lower than the equivalent Swiss median salary of 6,665 francs a month.

While this is a low salary for Switzerland, it is still higher than in aviation industry elsewhere in Europe, where some crews earn 1,600 euros gross.

Some of the requirements for the job are EU passports, fluency in German and English, no visible piercings or tatoos, as well as the full vaccination against Covid and the willigness to receive booster shots.

More conditions are listed here.

Weather forecast: less drought, pleasant temperatures

Last week’s rainfall partially alleviated the drought, raising the water level in some lakes by tens of centimetres.

Forecast for the coming four days calls for less extreme temperatures across Switzerland, with daytime temps reaching between 28C and 30C, and dropping to 14C at nighttime.

On Friday, however, widespread rain, and thunderstorms are a possibility.

READ MORE: Climate crisis: Swiss lakes at lowest-ever August levels


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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/08/22 07:33

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