Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Rents continue to go up, new rules for Ukrainian refugees, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Tuesday.
Rents continue to rise in most Swiss regions
The rent index developed jointly by the real estate platform Homegate and the Zurich Cantonal Bank indicates that, overall, tenants in Switzerland paid 2.8 percent more for their accommodation in October than during the same period in 2021.
Zurich was hit with the highest increase (+7.5 percent), followed by Lucerne (+4.7 percent), and Basel (+3.1 percent).
On the other hand, the two other in-demand regions, Geneva and Lausanne, experienced lower increases than their Swiss-German counterparts.
The upward trend is expected to continue in 2023, as rising interest rates, high immigration, and low construction activity will impact Switzerland’s real estate market.
Coop to increase salaries in 2023
Switzerland's second-largest supermarket chain will raise employee salaries by 2 percent next year, the company announced on Monday.
All employees will also receive a gift card worth 800 francs.
Those earning less than 4,500 francs a month will see their wages grow by 2 percent, while for employees whose salaries exceed this amount “raises will be adjusted individually".
While higher wages are needed to offset the increasing cost of living, a UBS survey released last week found that inflation will “eat up” the gains, leading to a record-high loss of real wages instead.
Switzerland slips in ranks in the global climate study
Switzerland is in the 22nd position — down from the 15th place in 2021 — in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), an independent monitoring tool for tracking countries’ climate protection performance.
It places below countries like India, Morocco and the Philippines in the ranking released on Monday.
Switzerland mainly scores badly in the sub-categories of “Renewable energy development target for 2030” and “Energy consumption per capita,” as well as “National policy” category.
Cantons tighten rules for refugees from Ukraine
So far, refugees from Ukraine have been allowed to keep their cars without their social assistance cut as a result. This is about to change, according to the Conference of Cantonal Social Directors (SODK).
All assets, such as private vehicles and jewellery will have to be sold, and proceeds to be used to live on before refugees can receive social assistance.
There are two reasons for the new rule, according to SODK’s vice-president Christoph Amstad. One is that “there had been negative feedback when sporty vehicles drove up to the social welfare offices".
The other reason is to harmonise the rules for Ukrainians with those in force for other refugees, who must sell their assets in order to be supported by the state.
“The different treatment of Ukrainian refugees and other people in the asylum sector is increasingly being criticised," Amstad said.
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