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Geneva news roundup: Cross-border worker numbers rise along with opposition

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 25 Jan, 2023 Updated Wed 25 Jan 2023 15:49 CEST
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The greening of Geneva: Vehicles to be replaced by plants. Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

Higher number of workers from France flock into Geneva, but job restrictions are sought — read about this and other news in our weekly roundup from Switzerland's second-largest city.

Nearly 60 cross-border permits issued every day in Geneva
 
The city and the canton depend on cross-border commuters from France to ensure that the local economy is functioning smoothly.

Currently over 100,000 of these workers are employed in Geneva, and their number has grown considerably in 2022, new data from the Cantonal Statistics Office (OCSTAT) reveals.
 
More than 21,100 G permits — almost 60 each day on average — were issued in the canton last year, the highest number since 1989.

As a comparison, the number of new G permits granted in 2021 was 15,800 and 16,900 the previous year.
 
READ MORE: Why do foreign workers flock to Switzerland? 

But not everyone in Geneva is happy about the influx of workers from France…
 
A populist party which calls itself Geneva Citizens’ Movement (MCG) launched an initiative last week, which seeks to severely restrict the hiring of cross-border workers in the cantonal public service.
 
The initiative proposes to "reserve for residents domiciled on the cantonal territory or for Swiss citizens" the positions in the tax administration, the State Chancellery, the General Secretariat of the Grand Council, and the cantonal police.
 
The reason, according to MCG’s president François Baerstchi, is that any person working for the government “needs a personal and direct link with Geneva that foreigners living abroad cannot have.” 
 
It is not yet known whether, or when, this issue will be voted on in a cantonal referendum.
 
READ MORE: How ordinary citizens can try to change the law in Switzerland 

More than 180 cases of street harassment identified in Geneva in six months
 
Thanks to an app called “Genève en poche” (Geneva in a pocket), the city police are informed of incidents in real time.
 
In the past six months, 183 cases of street harassment have been reported through the application — most of them (142) by women.
 
A brigade of eight specially trained officers is handling these cases.
 
The data collected on Geneva in your pocket app not only serves to report offensive behaviour in public spaces, but also to identify most at-risk locations, so that agents can patrol these areas and intervene directly, according to Geneva mayor, Marie Barbey-Chapuis. 
 
The app can be downloaded on Google Play and Apple Store.

Geneva transforms parking spaces into forests
 
In order to plant as many trees and other vegetation as possible in the most densely populated areas of the city, municipal authorities are eliminating some parking spaces and replacing them with ‘micro-forests.’
 
The project involves removing 18 parking spaces and reconstituting the soil to accommodate 800 plants of around 300 varieties.
 
The works are already underway on rue de Villereuse in Eaux-Vives, with further transformation to begin this summer in the Grottes district, and subsequently in other areas of the city as well.
 
You can read about this greening project, in English, on Geneva’s official site.

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2023/01/25 15:49

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