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

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Lucerne is quite a bit older than originally thought. Image by Werner Sidler from Pixabay

MPs reject rent reform measures; Switzerland gets yet another 'best' ranking; and other Swiss news in our roundup on Thursday.


National Council rules against rent controls

A number of MPs have suggested various measures to curb rent increases.

These proposals included the Green Party’s calls for a more active investment in affordable housing, and a ban on accommodating asylum seekers in public dwellings, which was put forth by the populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP).

However, at its meeting on Wednesday, National Council deputies heeded the call from the Economy Minister Guy Parmelin, who said various measures to reduce rents are currently being debated. He asked therefore that all suggestions be put on hold until the committees working on this issue come up with their proposals.

Switzerland is the world’s most innovative economy — again

For the 13th consecutive year, Switzerland took the top spot in a UN study.

The Global Innovation Index, compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), examined more than 130 countries, giving Switzerland the highest score.

In the press release published on Wednesday, WIPO said Switzerland has done particularly well in categories such as the use of new technologies; business and market sophistication; research; as well as general infrastructure.

This is the second time this month that Switzerland gets top ranking in a global study; on September 6th, it was named the world's best country by US News & World Report.

READ ALSO: Why Switzerland ranks as the 'world’s best country' — again 


The Swiss can afford newest smart phone model quicker than people elsewhere

Even though prices for goods and services are usually higher here than in other countries, Switzerland’s population seems to have the highest purchasing power — at least when it comes to iPhone 15, which was launched on September 22nd.

British price comparison website MoneySuperMarket calculated the affordability of this latest model across a range of countries, based on the median annual salary for each one. It then figured out the number of hours people around the world will need to work to earn enough money to buy this phone. 

Based on the median annual salary of 71,869 francs (though in fact it is closer to 80,000 francs), the platform calculated that 34 hours of work, which translates into 4.25 days, is enough to purchase the iPhone 15 in Switzerland.

This is the best result of the 38 countries compared in the survey.


The city of Lucerne just got a lot older

Remains of villages from the Bronze Age found in Lake Lucerne indicate that the city was settled earlier than believed, local authorities said in a press release on Wednesday. 

As these ruins are around 5,400 years old, archeologists estimate the city is about 2,400 years older than originally thought.

New analysis has shown that a settlement at the site of present-day Lucerne already existed in 3400 BC — a finding that the canton’s chief archeologist Jurg Manser calls “truly sensational.”

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