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.
Geneva public workers and bus, tram drivers announce a strike
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.
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”
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