Today in Switzerland For Members

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

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31 Oct, 2022 Updated Mon 31 Oct 2022 03:02 CEST
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With fewer peak-hour public transport options available in Geneva, more people will have to walk to and from work. Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash

Geneva's public transport is disrupted again, Switzerland's economy doing 'very well', and other news in our roundup on Monday.

Geneva trams and buses (TPG) to run sporadically from today

After Geneva commuters have had to deal with disrupted public transport while TPG employees were striking on October 12th and 13th, now they are facing new inconveniences: starting today, “the TPG are forced to temporarily withdraw certain reinforcement runs scheduled during peak hours, Monday to Friday”, the company announced.

Fourteen lines will be affected: tram lines 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 19 and bus lines 1, 5, 8, 9, 11, 22, 23, 25.

The reason is absenteeism:12 percent of bus and tram drivers have not shown up for work since the summer.

 Swiss socialists to push for EU membership

The Social Democratic Party approved on Sunday its “roadmap” for the future Swiss-European policy.

“For us, it is clear that a well-negotiated EU membership remains the best option”, the party  said.

It added that it is “aware that EU membership is not likely to bring together a majority in Switzerland in the short term".

It therefore proposes a multi-step plan aimed at advancing a gradual integration.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: How likely is it that Switzerland will join EU in the next decade?

‘Crisis’ not as dire as people think, experts say

Even though Swiss media is filled with articles about the rising cost of living and looming energy shortages, “economically, we are still doing very well,” according to Rudolf Strahm, former head of Switzerland’s price surveillance office.

As proof, he mentioned “our almost historically low unemployment rate” and the “moderate inflation of 3 percent, which is already falling a little”.

Strahm conceded, however, “that we are at a turning point”, with economic stagnation a possibility in 2023, which would last until the war in Ukraine ends.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Why Switzerland’s inflation rate has stayed low compared to elsewhere

Some Swiss MPs want to re-establish links with their Russian counterparts

Before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Swiss and Russian deputies have had amicable contacts, which had been suspended after Putin's attack.

Now, some members of the parliament are calling on the interaction to resume.

“I think it was a mistake to suspend these activities; it would be appropriate to restore relations with Russian parliamentarians”, said MP Jean-Luc Addor, with other deputies also voicing their support for the move.

Others, however, advocate a more cautious approach, preferring to wait until the war is over.

The issue will be discussed during the parliament’s winter session, which will take place from November 28th to December 16th.


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2022/10/31 03:02

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