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TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

Swiss consumers adapt their shopping habits to deal with inflation, women may have to serve in the army, and other news from Switzerland on Thursday.

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Women may have to be serve in the Swiss army. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

More Swiss consumers shop at discount retailers

Due to higher — and constantly rising — food prices, an increasing number of people in Switzerland shop at supermarkets where prices are cheaper than elsewhere.

Aldi, Lidl and Denner all report an influx of new customers.

“We feel that price concerns have been on the minds of our customers recently,” said Aldi spokesperson Jacqueline Fäs. “Our own products and promotional offers are in high demand”.

The same observation has been made by the management of the two other retailers.

READ MORE: Pasta up by 13 percent: How food and energy prices in Switzerland are rising

Swiss president’s handshake with Russia causes controversy

While attending the opening week of the 77th UN General Assembly in New York this week, Ignazio Cassis was photographed shaking hands with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Though Cassis announced beforehand that he would address “President Putin’s recent provocations” and that he would “condemn the nuclear threat”, Russia used the photo for its own propaganda purposes, with Lavrov publishing the picture of the two smiling diplomats in his tweet.

While the Foreign Ministry said “it sees no problem” with this photo, Swiss media noted that “no head of state or minister of a Western democracy has allowed himself to be represented with Sergei Lavrov in such a posture”.

Swiss women may have to serve in the military

As there is a looming shortage of soldiers in the Swiss army — which is expected to hit by the end of the decade — women could be recruited to serve along with men.

To remedy the situation, the Federal Council is considering making the military service compulsory for women.

The issue is now debated by MPs in the Council of States.

Switzerland’s best towns are mostly around Zug

The new ranking of “Best municipalities in Switzerland” by Iazi real estate platform shows the communities of Zug, Cham and Rish occupying the first three places.

They are followed by Altendorf (Schwyz), Meggen (Lucerne), and Hergiswil (Nidwalden).

The towns were ranked based on 50 criteria, including taxes, job opportunities, security, public transport, real estate, environment, leisure activities, educational establishments, the support available for the elderly, and daycare facilities.

READ MORE: REVEALED: Which Swiss cities offer the best quality of life?

Owning a home may not make you happy

Though many people in Switzerland dream of owning property, the realisation of this dream may not necessarily make them happy, a study by economists from the University of Basel found.

Researchers studied the impact of home ownership on life satisfaction and found that while purchasing one’s own house increases the feeling of happiness, these feelings eventually abate.

The reason may be that buyers underestimate some aspects of home ownership, which may include responsibilities and costs

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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TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

Covid cases are increasing substantially, prices are not falling despite lower inflation, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Wednesday.

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

Covid cases are rising significantly

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced on Tuesday that 25,134 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Switzerland in the past seven days — 49.4 percent more that at the same time last week.

This is in line with predictions that another Covid wave will hit Switzerland during the fall and winter.

To curb the number of new infections, Switzerland will roll out a new version of the Moderna vaccine on October 10th, which should better target Omicron and its subvariants.

READ MORE: OUTLOOK: Could Switzerland introduce Covid rules this autumn?

Inflation in Switzerland is down, but impact on prices not yet seen

Swiss inflation fell slightly in September, from 3.4 to 3.3 percent, but except for the price of gasoline, other costs have not gone down.

“Inflation fell, but the consumer price index did not decline”, according to Sergio Rossi, economist and professor at the University of Fribourg.

“In other words, prices continue to rise, just not as much as previously”.

And Swiss consumers should not see any relief on the price front any time soon. “The upward trend will will continue, at least until the end of the year, or even until the summer of 2023”, he said.

READ MORE: Pasta up by 13 percent: How food and energy prices in Switzerland are rising

The best airport in Europe is Swiss

For the 19th consecutive year, Zurich Airport has received the World Travel Award for Best European Airport.

The ranking is based on customer satisfaction, as well as the quality standards of the products and services offered at and around the airport.

To maintain its standing, the airport is planning new infrastructure, including a new baggage sorting facility and the renovation of part of the airport’s shopping area.

Switzerland’s other international airports, Geneva and Basel, were not part of the ranking.

Research: To save energy, we must live in smaller dwellings

To reduce the use of (and need for) energy, we have to “seriously change our habits” and  learn to live in smaller spaces, researchers from the Federal Polytechnic Institute of Lausanne (EPFL) say.

This would cut energy costs both in terms of electricity and heating.

However, this could be difficult to achieve as homeowners and tenants in Switzerland want larger dwellings, which inevitably leads to higher energy consumption.

Therefore, “promoting the environmental awareness among those people is essential but difficult to implement”, the study found.

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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