Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 25 Nov, 2022 Updated Fri 25 Nov 2022 09:28 CEST
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Cross-border commuters (here entering Geneva from France) can't use their cars for work. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Living conditions for apartment dwellers, new rules debated for cross-border commuters, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Friday.

The Swiss live in increasingly cramped dwellings

The living space per person in Switzerland has become more confined, according to findings released on Thursday by Federal Office for Territorial Development (ARE).

The reason is that while the country’s population is growing, building land is becoming scarcer, especially in highly populated urban regions.

For instance, in the last five years, while the population grew from 8.4 to 8.8 million people, construction zones increased by only 1 percent.

“There are hardly any new building zones left, which requires municipalities to build more densely,” ARE noted.

Swiss economy has a ‘high level of resilience’ but gaps exist

International consulting form Deloitte, along with independent experts,  investigated how crisis-proof and resilient the Swiss economy is if faced by three realistic crisis scenarios.

"Encouragingly, it was found that public services and infrastructure are stable overall,” the study reported.

On the positive side, “the financial market infrastructure, is encouragingly resilient,” the study found. “Even the energy supply could be largely maintained."

Healthcare, however, was found to be somewhat less resilient and "would be severely limited in the global pandemic and geopolitical tension scenarios."

READ MORE : Nine stats to help explain the famously strong Swiss economy
 

MPs debate car use by cross-border workers

Under the current rules, cross-border commuters are allowed to drive to and from jobs in their vehicles registered abroad, but they can’t use their personal cars for professional reasons.

Instead, they must use a vehicle provided by their Swiss employer.

However, a parliamentary motion, supported by the Federal Council, calls for changes to this regulation, arguing that it limits employment opportunities for certain workers.

This is the case, for instance, in the cleaning sector, where it is customary for employees to go to the place of work directly from home, bringing the necessary material with them.

However, “due to the regulations in force, this way of proceeding is not allowed for cross-border commuters,” according to MP Martin Schmid, who filed the motion now being debated in the parliament.

Black Friday reminder: Don’t fall for scammers

Today is the (in)famous Black Friday where masses of people in Switzerland will hunt for huge discounts, especially on big-ticket items.

Swiss consumer organisations are advising shoppers not to be duped by seemingly great offers, but  be on alert for scammers offering fake “bargains,” especially online.

“If an offer seems too good or too cheap to be true, it is better to trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t,” according to a Swiss “Stop Piracy” group, which combats online fraud.

READ MORE : Black Friday in Switzerland: How to avoid shopping traps

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

 

 

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/11/25 09:28

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