Six big news stories from Switzerland not to miss this week

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Six big news stories from Switzerland not to miss this week
Driving on Switzerland's motorways could get more expensive. Photo AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI

Cost of emergency room visits, rent control strategies, and highest-paying jobs are among the Swiss news The Local reported this week. You can catch up on everything in this weekly roundup.


Swiss Government considers a 50-franc ‘fine’ for unreferred emergency room visits

The move to impose a 50-franc fee on those who seek emergency care at a Swiss hospital without a doctor’s referral is not new, but Swiss MPs have taken up this issue again.

This move is intended to stop people from seeking emergency help for mild cases.

However, children and pregnant women would be exempt from this rule, as would those who come with life-threatening conditions or those who require hospitalisation.

READ ALSO: Could going to a Swiss hospital without a referral cost you 50 francs?

Authorities want to sharply raise the price of Swiss motorway vignettes

The car sticker has cost the same — 40 francs — since 1995, but now the Swiss government wants to increase the price to 100 francs to  ensure the financing of the country's road infrastructure.

The project was rejected in 2013 by 60.5 percent of voters, but now the Federal Council is considering this measure again, as money is needed not only for road projects in general, but also for better traffic management in the Alpine areas.

READ ALSO: Could the cost of the Swiss motorway vignette rise to 100 francs? 

Switzerland considers issuing fewer permits for non-EU workers

Swiss  justice minister Elisabeth Baume-Schneider has said she wants to reduce the number of work permits issued to people from outside the European Union and EFTA (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein).

She proposed that the number of permits granted to third-country nationals be cut from 12,000 currently to 9,600 in 2024.

The Federal Council will decide in the next few weeks whether it wants to follow Baume-Schneider’s proposal to tighten the screws on the third-country immigration and, if so, when.

READ ALSO: Will Switzerland cut number of work permits for third country nationals? 


Swiss government wants to curb rent increases

Rents in Switzerland went up in October and another hike could hit the tenants in December.

This would put further pressure on the tenants already dealing will high costs amid a very tight housing market, especially in large cities.

That is why the  Federal Council wants to intervene to slow down the process, mandating the Department of Economy to develop a new ordinance on rent hikes, as the current one was created 40 years ago and is no longer relevant today.

READ ALSO: How does Swiss government plan to curb rent increases? 

Sectors where six-digit salaries are common

The ongoing shortage of skilled workers in Switzerland is pushing salaries in some in-demand fields upwards.

This is what has been happening in the areas of finance, accounting, human resources (HR), and information technology (IT).

In many cases, qualified employees in these sectors can earn upwards of 100,000 francs per year — well over the median Swiss wage of 80,000 francs.

READ ALSO: Which jobs in Switzerland offer the highest wages right now?


Switzerland to launch digital identity card

The e-ID, to be launched in 2026, “will enable users to identify themselves digitally in a secure, fast and uncomplicated way,” the Federal Council said.

Simply put, the e-ID is intended to ensure secure access to a wide variety of services — both online and off.
The government said it will be safe to use and not compromise any personal or private information.

READ ALSO: What is Switzerland’s new 'electronic ID' and will you need it?

And in case you missed this news, it is not too late to ‘jump in’:

A number of Christmas markets has opened in Switzerland this week; even though it is still officially autumn, the holiday spirit is definitely in the air.

READ ALSO: The Swiss Christmas markets opening in November 

And while we are on the subject of Christmas, know that the Swiss Post Office has a timetable for sending your holiday mail, so it gets to its recipients on time.


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