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

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
SWISS and EasyJet crews are no longer willing to fly to Israel. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Switzerland's foreign population has grown in 2023; Switzerland-based airline crews don't want to fly to Israel due to safety concerns, and more news in our roundup on Friday.


Switzerland’s foreign population has grown

In 2023, the number of foreign nationals living in Switzerland rose to 2,416,400, or 27 percent of the permanent resident population.

This is what emerges from new data published by the Federal Statistical Office  (FSO) on Thursday.

In fact, foreign population has grown faster than Swiss, having doubled between 2022 and 2023 from 2.3 to 5.2 percent.

In all, 241,700 people immigrated to Switzerland in 2023, an increase of 38.2 percent compared to 2022.

READ ALSO: Switzerland faces new anti-immigration vote 

SWISS airline cabin crews don’t want to fly to Israel

An increasing number of SWISS pilots and flight attendants are withdrawing from flights to Israel due to security concerns. 

The airline had suspended its flights to Tel Aviv after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th, followed by retaliation action by Israel's army.

On January 8th, however, SWISS resumed one round trip per day. From May, it will go back to its former schedule of two daily flights, with the evening ones requiring an overnight stay in Tel Aviv.

With some cabin crews no longer willing to fly to this destination — and spend a night there — the airline must find substitutes willing to step in.

SWISS personnel are not the only ones worried about their safety in Israel, however.

 Switzerland-based EasyJet cabin crews are also refusing to fly there.

Their union representative supports this stance. “There are frequent rocket attacks and the airspace is not safe,” he said.”Today, no airline flies to Kyiv, so why would anyone fly to Tel Aviv?"


Sunken ship to be lifted up from Swiss lake

After navigating Lake Constance for more than three decades, steam ferry ‘Säntis', no longer capable of sailing, was intentionally sunk to the bottom of the lake in 1933, where it had remained, 210 m deep, to this day.
But a crowd-funding campaign has made it possible to bring the wreck back to the surface again.

This effort, to begin this month, will take several days due to the fragility of the ship, which had been under water for more than 90 years.

The rescue operation can be followed on livestream from April 17th


Several Switzerland-based billionaires made it to the Forbes list

Switzerland may be a wealthy country but is also a small one, so only a few of the world’s 2,781 billionaires who live here are included on this year's edition of the famed list.

Among those who are, only three are Swiss citizens: shipping magnates Rafaela and Luigi Aponte, and biotech entrepreneur Ernesto Bertarelli.

Others are foreign nationals who reside in Switzerland: German citizen Klaus-Michael Kühne, majority shareholder of the Schwyz-based transport logistics giant Kuehne + Nagel, Frenchman Gérard Wertheimer, who co-owns owns the fashion group Chanel, as well as Greek national Vicky Safra, co-owner of Chiquita banana company, which is based in Switzerland.

However, a number of other Switzerland-based billionaires are not included on the Forbes list.
READ ALSO: How many foreigners are in Switzerland's top 1 percent of earners? 

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