Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 3 Nov, 2022 Updated Thu 3 Nov 2022 03:03 CEST
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Government says Switzerland will not be plunged into darkness this winter. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

News about power supply this winter, Italian commune wants to become part of Switzerland, and other developments in our roundup on Thursday.

Bright news: Switzerland’s power supply will be sufficient this winter

Like other countries in Europe, Switzerland too has been bracing for power shortages and even blackouts this winter.

But this worst-care scenario may not happen.

While occasional shortages cannot be ruled out, “the security of Switzerland's electricity supply for the winter of 2022/2023 is not seriously threatened”, the Federal Council announced on Wednesday.

This is the finding of a new government study which simulated different scenarios based on the quantity of gas available and the number of nuclear power plants in operation, among other factors.

The results showed that the measures currently in place in Switzerland should ensure energy supply in coming months.

READ MORE: What the Swiss government is asking you to do to save energy

Switzerland loses its second cabinet member

Simonetta Sommaruga, who has been a member of Federal Council since 2010 and heads the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, announced her resignation on Wednesday, effective on December 31st, so she can care for her seriously ill husband.

She is the second Federal Councillor to resign in a span of several weeks: on September 30th, Finance Minister Ueli announced he would be stepping down at the end of the year.

This leaves the government’s seven-member executive body two people short; MPs will elect two new councillors in December.

 Switzerland gives 100 million francs to help Ukraine withstand the winter

Over 30 percent of Ukraine's energy infrastructure has been damaged, with attacks leaving many places without access to drinking water, as well as disrupting power and telecommunications, the Federal Council said on Thursday.

The 100 million francs in financial aid is intended to "mitigate the impact of the coming winter on the people of Ukraine" and is earmarked "in particular for projects financing the urgent rehabilitation of Ukraine's energy infrastructure", especially as the humanitarian situation in the country "has become even more precarious in recent weeks due to targeted attacks on energy infrastructure and basic supply systems".

Italian village wants to be annexed to Switzerland

The small commune of of Monteviasco  is located at an altitude of 1,650 meters in Lombardy, only 2 km from the Swiss border.

The only mode of transport to and from the remote village is a cable car, but it broke in 2018, leaving the local residents isolated from the world below.

However, as their numerous pleas to regional officials to replace the cable car have fallen on deaf ears, desperate residents have written to the local newspaper, saying they want their village “to be annexed to Ticino” to escape “Italian bureaucratic shackles”.

“Attaching Monteviasco to Switzerland now seems to us the only way to reopen the cable car”, the residents wrote.

For their part, the Swiss have not said whether they are taking this letter seriously, but it is certain that they will not be annexing Monteviasco anytime soon — or ever, for that matter.


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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/11/03 03:03

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