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] • 8 Dec, 2022 Updated Thu 8 Dec 2022 08:28 CEST
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Many Swiss seniors are running out of money. Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay

Switzerland's retirees face financial difficulties, cross-border shopping no longer lucrative for Swiss shoppers, and other news in our roundup on Thursday.


Federal Council no longer represents Swiss demographics

With the election of two new members yesterday to replace the departing ministers, the current composition of the Federal Council is no longer predominantly Swiss-German, which is a rare occurrence in Switzerland.

Most of the country’s population (63 percent) lives in German-speaking cantons, while French and Italian speakers make up 23 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively. 


However, with the election of Elisabeth Baume-Schneider, who comes from the French-speaking canton of Jura, non-German speakers now form the majority of the seven-member Federal Council: three French speakers, one Italian speaker and “only” three German speakers.

READ MORE: LATEST: Swiss parliament elects new ministers to Federal Council 

Switzerland's new president is elected

While choosing two new members of the cabinet on Wednesday, the MPs also elected the new president for 2023 from among the seven Federal Councillors, as is done each year on December 7th.

Alain Berset, the current Health Minister and head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, will serve as Switzerland’s president from January 1st to December 31st, 2023, replacing the current president, Ignazio Cassis.

Unlike other countries, Swiss presidents are not heads of the government and have no special power. Their role is to chair the Federal Council meetings, mediate in the case of disputes, and represent Switzerland abroad.

Some pensioners will run out of money during their lifetime

Saving at retirement age is becoming increasingly more difficult in Switzerland, according to a new study by Swiss Life insurance.

In fact, 10 percent of retirees will not have enough money to last until the end of their lives; some will use up their savings in a few years, and even go into debt.

About 44 percent of study participants said they can just keep their heads above water.

Shopping in neighbouring France is more expensive

Cross-border shopping for people living in Geneva and parts of Vaud used to be a popular, and lucrative, activity.

But due to the inflation in France and the subsequent increase in prices, it is no longer so, Tribune de Genève (TDG) reported on Wednesday.

In Haute-Savoie, the French region bordering Geneva, prices of food and hygiene products are the highest in the world, according to TDG.

For instance, the price of common consumer goods is now 15 percent more expensive there than a year ago.

In Ain, another department bordering Switzerland, prices went up 14.49 percent — all of which means it is no longer “cheap” for Swiss consumers to shop in France.

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 2022/12/08 08:28

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