Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Municipalities call for a 30-km speed limit to be the norm in Switzerland to reduce noise. Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP

Higher interest rates on savings in Swiss banks, political party will launch a new anti-immigrant initiative, and other news in our roundup this Monday.


Good news: your savings will grow in 2023

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced last week it would increase its key interest rate to 1 percent (from the current 0.5 percent) to further combat the spread of inflation.

The large financial institutions like UBS, Credit Suisse and Postfinance have not yet announced whether, or when, they will offer higher rates on savings.

Some cantonal and small commercial banks, however, already have, with the interest paid based on the amount of assets deposited in the institution.


SVP is planning a new initiative to limit immigration

The right-wing Swiss People's Party will launch a “sustainability initiative” in 2023 — so called because the party claims immigration "is not sustainable" in Switzerland and should be curbed.

The SVP had launched similar initiatives in the past, which were the rejected in referendums.

This time, the party reportedly wants to bring this issue to the ballot box again because Switzerland's population is growing due to the influx of foreigners, and may soon reach and even exceed the nine-million mark. 

"The government must not let the population grow beyond this number," said SVP deputy Thomas Matter, adding that in the last 20 years, Switzerland's  population has increased by 21 percent.

"All the leeway we had in terms of infrastructure has been used up," he said.

READ MORE: How foreigners are changing Switzerland

The push for the 30-km-hour speed limit intensifies

Currently, there is a maximum of 50 km/h allowed across the urban roads in Switzerland, but the Union of Swiss Cities has said on Sunday that the 30 km/h limit “must become the norm” — both in residential areas and on the main roads — in order to reduce noise.

“Noise is not just a nuisance, but it is also harmful to health and to the economy. However, it has been shown that a reduction in speed from 50 to 30 km/h lowers noise by half,” according to the organisation, which represents 129 localities in the country.

Several municipalities across Switzerland — including Zurich and Geneva — have already started rolling out expanded 30km/h zones, and more are planned across the country. 

Even so, some groups, like USAM, the umbrella organisation representing various economic sectors,  is against lower speed in cities, because “it would be bad for businesses.”
READ MORE: These parts of Switzerland are set to introduce a 30km/h speed limit 


Sorry, there will be no white Christmas this year
Even though snow has fallen in parts of Switzerland this weekend, the latest weather forecast doesn’t bode well for white Christmas.
Warmer air will flow to Switzerland this week and temperatures will rise, according to MeteoNews weather service, so the probability of the existing snow lasting until Christmas is “very low.”
The sub-zero temperatures that had hit large swaths of the country last week will give way to temps ranging from 5C to 13C over the next days, MeteoNews reports.

READ MORE: What to expect if you're travelling to Switzerland this winter 
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