Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Flying is set to become cheaper next year. Photo: SWISS media

Swiss GDP loses billions due to labour shortage; air fares to become cheaper in 2024; and other news in our roundup on Monday.


Swiss labour shortage reaches critical proportions

The shortage of qualified personnel is “at its highest level in Switzerland", according to a new report by the University of St. Gallen.

“Never before have so many positions remained vacant for so long,” the report found. “The skills shortage is perhaps the most important challenge in the Swiss labour market today, and it comes at a high cost.”

The situation is critical as it impacts Switzerland’s prosperity: due to huge gaps in the workforce, Swiss GDP suffers an annual loss of 0.66 percent, which corresponds to around 5 billion francs.

And the situation is not expected to improve in the near future because the wave of baby boomers retiring will further aggravate the problem, creating 340,000 vacancies by 2025. 

Cantonal initiatives call for more affordable housing

In Zurich, where the housing shortage is critical, left-wing groups are collecting signatures to be able to launch a referendum banning real estate investors from making huge profits, in terms of higher rents, after renovations of old buildings.

In Basel-City, the “Demolition Protection Initiative,” seeks to limit the demolition of old houses, which should only be allowed in exceptional cases, such as when a building is no longer habitable. 

READ ALSO: How bad is Switzerland's housing shortage and what can be done about it?


SWISS airline CEO: ‘Flying should become cheaper next year’

The cost of airline tickets has soared in the past year — in some cases by as much as 25 percent — mostly due to inflation and higher price of fuel.

However, air travel is expected to become more affordable in 2024, according to SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx, who said the cost of air fares is expected to decline. 

“Ticket prices will fall next year,” he said in an interview on Sunday, without specifying, however, by how much.


Economy Minister: Switzerland shouldn’t track down Russian oligarchs

This week, the National Council will decide whether Switzerland should become involved in the international task force which searches for Russian money invested abroad.

However, Economy minister Guy Parmelin already said he is against Switzerland’s participation in the Repo Task Force, whose goal is to restrict sanctioned Russians' access to the international financial system. 

“In an increasingly polarised world, Switzerland has an interest, as a neutral country, in maintaining a certain reserve," Parmelin said in an interview with Neue Zürcher Zeitung on Sunday. 

"Switzerland must retain its freedom of decision on this issue,” he added.  

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