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

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Yes, but is it safe? a Number of Geneva's restaurants were found to have 'unhygenic' food. Image by Henrique Vefago Henrique from Pixabay

One-third of Geneva's restaurants found to have 'unsafe' food; the number of people failing to pay their health insurance premiums is growing; and more Swiss news in our roundup on Tuesday.


One in three Geneva restaurants not up to hygiene standards

The number of fines for non-compliance with health and hygiene norms among Geneva's restaurants has increased in 2023.

“Serious cases” requiring closure –10 in all – also rose in comparison to the previous year.

These figures result from the 2,500 inspections carried out in 2023 by the cantonal food safety service in restaurants and other establishments offering food.

“We especially observe that the number of non-compliances, serious cases, and cases of recurrence are a little more frequent,” according to the service.

Food  industry experts attribute these poor figures to the chronic shortage of staff, because it forces restaurants to hire unqualified employees, “who are not necessarily familiar with the best practices and standards to be respected in the kitchen.” 

Health insurance premiums: The blacklist of 'bad payers' is growing

Seven cantons — Zug, Lucerne, Thurgau, Aargau, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, and Ticino — blacklist people who fail to pay their obligatory health insurance premiums.

The list has now reached a “record-high level,” according to Switzerland’s largest media organisation, Tamedia, which collected data from the seven cantons concerned.

In total, 18,352 people are currently on the blacklist. The figures are particularly high in Ticino, where between 6,000 and 7,000 policyholders are blacklisted each year for non-payment. 

READ ALSO: What happens if you don’t pay your Swiss health insurance premiums on time? 


Geneva is one of Europe’s best destinations, survey shows

The rising number of unhygienic restaurants notwithstanding (see above), Switzerland’s second-largest city is ranked among the top-four tourist destinations (out of 20 surveyed) in Europe.

The ranking by the "European Best Destination" organisation, is based on the votes cast by over 1 million travellers from 172 countries.

Geneva is described as a “truly vibrant city,” which “beyond its diplomatic significance…seamlessly  blends tradition with modern delights.”


Ahead today: government to discuss ways to tackle Switzerland’s housing shortage

Economy Minister Guy Parmelin will present the government’s ‘plan of action’ in Bern today — that is, officially recommended measures to alleviate the housing crisis.

The situation has been tense for many months and there is no tangible relief in sight.

According to a housing expert at Zurich’s Cantonal Bank, there are currently only around 50,000 apartments advertised for rent in the entire country — the lowest number in 10 years — and even fewer vacancies are expected in the future.

“Every year, there are fewer and fewer empty apartments. The queues of interested parties for sought-after rental properties are likely to get longer in the coming years,” she said. 

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