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]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Any unregulated source of heat will have to do this winter. Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels

Further plans to regulate electricity use this winter, quotas for foreign workers are set, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Thursday.


Government releases plans for energy shortage

While the issue of power outages is not new and has been debated by the authorities before, on Wednesday the Federal Council announced the steps it would be taking if energy becomes scarce in Switzerland.

In such an event, the  government “will regulate the electricity supply by means of time-limited measures, in order to preserve the stability of the network and to secure the supply. Each level of measures aims to avoid more serious consequences, which would require more drastic measures,” it said.

In addition, in case of an imminent shortage, authorities “would first issue urgent calls to reduce consumption to all electricity consumers. At the same time, the Federal Council could decree initial restrictions and bans on use.”

READ MORE : What are Switzerland's new heating rules if there's an energy shortage?


Switzerland sets work quotas for nationals of third countries

For 2023, the government will issue the same number of work permits to non-Europeans as it had this year, the Federal Council announced on Wednesday.

This means 8,500 skilled workers from third countries can be employed in Switzerland: 4,500 will benefit from a B and 4,000 from a L permit.

In addition, 3,500 permits are set aside for workers from the UK, as British citizens benefit from separate quotas: 2,100 under a B permit and 1,400 under an L permit.

“Authorisations are issued according to the needs of companies and taking into account the economic interests of Switzerland,” the Federal Council said,  adding that “priority is given to workers already present in the country.”

This is what the Swiss worry about this year

Each year, Credit Suisse bank publishes the so-called “Worry Barometer,” which identifies what preoccupies Switzerland’s population the most.

The latest edition, released on Wednesday, reveals some surprising findings: none of the events most likely to upset the majority of people this year people — such as inflation and the increasing cost of living— are among the main worries.

Instead, the environment, and most specifically climate change, has been the top concern for the Swiss population in 2022, followed by worries about pensions.

Respondents also expressed worries about the energy supply.

Inflation is in the fifth place, as is the cost of healthcare, with the latter traditionally a key concern for the Swiss.

Issues involving migration rate lowest.


Switzerland adopts new EU package of sanctions against Russia

These sanctions include the introduction of price caps for Russian crude oil and petroleum products, as well as restrictions on iron and steel products, aerospace goods, and goods that are “of economic importance to Russia,” the government announced on Wednesday.

The measures also include bans on the provision of IT, engineering, architecture, and legal services to the Russian government and companies.

In addition to adopting EU sanctions, the Federal Council also decreed an embargo on military goods, partially extending it to Ukraine as well, “in view of the Switzerland's neutral status,” the government said.


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