Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 29 Nov, 2022 Updated Tue 29 Nov 2022 07:54 CEST
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Swiss tunnels, (like the Gotthard, here) could close in case of power outage. Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

The government won't mandate rent control, Swiss words of the year are revealed, and other news in our roundup on Tuesday.


Swiss government will not mandate rent reduction

MPs have asked the Federal Council to rule that rents must be lowered in case of a serious electricity shortage that would impact tenants, preventing them, for instance, from not having adequate heating.

The government, however, refused to intervene, saying it will not take any “extraordinary support measures,” in this matter.

"No concrete indication is given in the law on the minimum or maximum temperatures,” the Federal Council said, adding that "it is up to the landlord and the tenants to find solutions together on a case-by-case basis."

READ MORE: Reader question: How can I legally reduce my rent in Switzerland?


In the event of a power outage, Swiss tunnels could close to traffic

In a mountainous country like Switzerland, its 1,300 tunnels are important and often the only  thoroughfares from one point of the country to another. 

Although they are equipped with an emergency power supply, the tunnels will not be able to withstand a total power failure over a long period of time, cutting off essential routes for motorists.

Asked by a MP how it is planning to avoid eventual tunnel closures, the Federal Council conceded that keeping emergency generators going for a long period of time "would be a challenge."

And while the tunnels do have an emergency battery power supply for lighting, they do not have such devices for energy-intensive equipment, such as ventilation systems.

Therefore, in the event of lengthy power outages, emergency measures such as speed limits and even total shutdown of tunnels could be mandated.

These are the Swiss words of the year 2022

Every year, Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) choses "the word of the year" in each national language. This year's choices, revealed this morning, reflect the current events.

Strommangellage (electricity  shortage) is a German word of the year, and boycotter (to boycott) in French. In Italian and Romansh same words were chosen penuria (Italian) and (mancanza) in Romansh — both meaning "lack" or "scarcity."

"These words shaped the discourse in Switzerland and its language regions in 2022 - scientifically proven in the text database and confirmed by the choice of the four juries of language professionals," according to ZHAW linguist Dr. Marlies Whitehouse.

READ MORE: How did Switzerland become a country with four languages?


Cold front moves toward Switzerland

In the next few days, Switzerland will experience winter temperatures, likely to drop to 3C.

The cause of the much-colder weather is a huge area of high pressure coming from Russia, according to Klaus Marquardt, a meteorologist at Meteo News weather service.

A few small areas of low pressure are also forming, one of which is heading towards Switzerland from the west.

Along with lower temperatures, “it will bring a lot of clouds and some precipitation in the next few days,” Marquardt said.


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]






Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/11/29 07:54

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