Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Be mindful of the black ice today. Image by Markus Sch. from Pixabay

Extremely slippery conditions in parts of Switzerland, latest Covid situation, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Wednesday.


Slippery road alert: Be careful driving and walking today
From this morning and throughout the day, black ice — the transparent frozen glaze that often can’t be seen and is therefore all the more dangerous —will form on roads and pavements in parts of northern Switzerland.
Among the most affected areas are Zurich’s Unter- and Weinland, Basel-Fricktal-Zurzibiet-Wasserschloss, as well as the Solothurn region.

However, meteorologists warn that ground in other parts of Switzerland could be frozen and icy as well, so motorists and pedestrians should exercise utmost caution to avoid slipping.

The weather has been exceptionally cold in Switzerland in the past few days, but forecasts for the rest of December call for slightly higher temperatures.

READ MORE:Temperatures in Switzerland plummet to -27C


Could Covid be on the way out?

For several weeks now, the number of reported coronavirus infections has been declining, data from the Federal Office of Public Health indicates. 

New numbers released on Tuesday show that 16,362 new cases were registered in Switzerland in the last seven days — a drop of nearly 12 percent in comparison with the previous week.
In prior weeks, the numbers remained stable or even diminished slightly, contrary to the trend of the past two years when infection rates increased significantly as the weather became colder, driving people indoors.
It is too early, however, to know for sure whether Covid is really on the way out, or whether this is only a temporary lull.

Government’s energy-saving plan under fire
Cantons are criticizing the drastic emergency measures that the Federal Council wants to implement in the event of a power shortage.
The plan was released on November 24th, but cantonal authorities had until December 13th to voice their objections — which they did.
They argued that the plan includes incoherent criteria, such as different temperature limits to be applied to different dwellings and groups of people.
Another point of contention is that the plan contains too many bans and restrictions, which would be implemented in stages in case of power outages. However, cantonal officials found that the criteria for triggering the different stages remain unclear.
According to the Conference of Cantonal Energy Directors, the measures should be limited “to a few clear directives with the greatest impact.”
READ MORE: ‘Restrictions and bans’: What to know about Switzerland’s new energy crisis plan 


Switzerland's economy slows down, but remains resilient

Swiss economic growth is expected to be slower in 2023, mirroring the global situation. Thanks to solid domestic consumption, however, the risk of a recession is very low, according to the Credit Suisse Monitor published on Tuesday. 
Inflation is expected to drop to 1.5 percent (from the current 3 percent), which is within the range of what the Swiss National Bank defines as price stability.
Consumption will be the engine of this growth, while the outlook for the job market remains favourable, with the unemployment rate at 2.2 percent.
Wages are expected to go up by 2.3 percent on average, so that "household incomes increase more strongly than prices,” the bank’s economists report.
The outlook is dimmer for the industrial sector, however; "in particular the mechanical, electrical, metal, and chemical industries can expect lower demand from abroad as a result of the recession in the euro zone.”
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