Five big news stories from Switzerland you need to know about this week

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Five big news stories from Switzerland you need to know about this week
A man rides his bicycle along the beam line of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in a tunnel of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) Photo by VALENTIN FLAURAUD / AFP

Rent increases and a rare hostage-taking incident on a train are among the Swiss news The Local reported this week. You can catch up on everything in this weekly roundup.


Will Swiss tenants be hit with higher rents in the future?

With two consecutive increases in the mortgage reference rates in 2023, many tenants are wondering what lies ahead for them.

While the evolution of rents is not certain over the long term, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has compiled a list of most frequently asked questions relating to housing costs, as well as the answers to explain what is going on in Switzerland, and what tenants can expect in the near future.

READ ALSO : What foreign residents should know about rent hikes in Switzerland

In the name of science, physicists in Geneva are digging a 91km-long tunnel

In order to give a new life to their aging  particle accelerator, the largest in the world, scientists at the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) want to push ahead with a 91-km-long tunnel that would be submerged deep under the surface of Lake Geneva.

It would pass under the lake in Switzerland and loop round to the south near the picturesque French town of Annecy.

READ MORE: Why are scientists digging a tunnel from Geneva to Annecy?

US citizen in Zurich faces a huge ‘trash’ fine

Unaware of Switzerland’s recycling rules, an American resident of Zurich tossed a carton box into a ‘regular’ bin at a tram stop, instead of into a container designated for cardboard waste.

He is now awaiting a fine which, according to some estimates, could be as high as 320 francs.
READ ALSO: Zurich to fine American resident for throwing carton into trash


Zurich’s population has increased to record-high levels

Already the most populous canton in Switzerland, Zurich has gotten even bigger.

Since the end of 2023, the number of inhabitants in the canton has exceeded 1.6 million for the first time in history.

The influx of foreigners — mostly from the European Union — is the main reason for the growth spurt.

READ ALSO: What you should know about Zurich’s record population 


Police shoot hostage-taker in a Swiss train

In an unusual occurrence in Switzerland, an asylum seeker armed with a knife and an axe kept 14 passengers and a conductor hostage on a train.

After a  four-hour standoff,  police in canton Vaud raided the train and shot the perpetrator dead.

No one else was harmed.

READ ALSO: Hostage situation on Swiss train ends after police shoot suspect dead

And in case you are wondering what the snow situation is like in the Swiss Alps right now, you will get all the answers here:

READ ALSO: Do Swiss ski resorts have enough snow for the February holidays?


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