Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
The financing of the pension scheme is safe, no 'free' money will be distributed in Zurich, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Monday.
Swiss voters back pension scheme reform
A narrow majority of voters – 50.57 percent — approved on Sunday the government’s proposed amendment to the existing old-age and survivors’ insurance (AHV / AVS), including increasing the retirement age for women from the current 64 to 65, same as for men.
This move is seen as necessary to keep the AHV / AVS scheme afloat financially as life expectancy in Switzerland is increasing and people require pension benefits longer than in the past.
And 55.1 percent accepted a related proposal to raise the current Value Added Tax of 7.7 percent by 0.4 percent to help finance the scheme.
Zurich’s basic income experiment rejected
Also on Sunday, 53.9 percent of Zurich voters turned down a proposal by the political left to introduce a pilot project that would dole out between 2,500 and 3,000 francs a month to 500 city residents.
The issue, which previously failed in other cities, was thought to have a bigger chance of success in Zurich, which is believed to be more “left” than other Swiss municipalities.
However, only two of Zurich’s 12 districts voted in favour of the project on Sunday.
Switzerland not prepared for nuclear attack
As fears over the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine is growing, Switzerland “is not sufficiently prepared,” for such an event, according to Urs Marti, president of the Conference of Cantonal Officials for Military Affairs and Civil Protection.
For instance, the radioactivity alarm equipment is old, and some nuclear shelters have not been properly upkept, Marti said.
In response, the National Council's Security Policy Commission is set to hold a special meeting to discuss ways to remedy the situation.
"We must take stock of the state of civil protection shelters," said the Commission’s president, Mauro Tuena.
These Swiss cities are most dependent on imported gas
With the beginning of autumn and colder weather across Switzerland, the subject of Switzerland’s reliance on foreign energy is in the news again.
But the extent of this dependence varies from one municipality to another.
At 96 percent of imported energy, Geneva tops the chart, followed by Lugano (94 percent), Lucerne and Biel (91), Winterthur (87), Bern (83), Zurich (76), and Basel (75).
The reason big cities rely more on gas is that in densely populated areas, this energy source requires relatively little space in buildings.
REVEALED: Switzerland’s best cheese is…
The Swiss Cheese Championships held in the Valais community of Val de Bagnes last week have come to an end.
Out of more than 1,000 cheese varieties vying for the coveted title, the international jury selected a Gruyère from the village of Montbovon in the canton of Fribourg.
The jury tasted each single cheese, basing its decision on criteria such as cheese’s appearance, taste, aroma, and texture
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