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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
Unvaccinated SWISS employees are suing the airline. Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash

Swiss still have high purchasing power; unvaccinated airline personnel sues over dismissal; and more news in our roundup on Thursday.


Swiss have higher purchasing power than their neighbours

Even though Switzerland is a high-cost country, a new study shows that its residents’ purchasing power is greater than in neighbouring countries.

According to data released this week by the market research institute GfK, Switzerland has an average purchasing power per capita of almost 50,000 francs — 3.9 percent more than in 2023. In addition to income, GfK analysis also included capital income, unemployment benefits, family benefits, and pensions. 

Converted into euros for comparison purposes, Switzerland has a per-capita purchasing power of 52,566 euros. Austria’s figure is 29,266 euros and Germany’s 27,848 euros.

Switzerland has world's highest proportion of top study programmes 

While Switzerland doesn’t have most top-rated universities (the US and the UK do), in terms of ranking by subject, it is in first place.

For instance, the Federal Polytechnic Institute (ETH) in Zurich is a leader in three subjects: earth and marine sciences, geophysics, and geology.

This is what emerges from a ranking by the British university consultant Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released on Wednesday.

As for the Ecole Hôtelière in Lausanne, it is the best among hospitality programmes.


Zurich could equip its trams with airbags to prevent further fatalities

A series of recent accidents where pedestrians were hit by trams has triggered a debate about the best safety measures.

“People are crushed by trams and die,” said local deputy Michele Romagnolo. “We cannot stand idly by.”

That is why Zurich’s public transport system (VBZ) has been working on airbags for certain types of its trams.

These bags  would be activated by a sensor located at the front of the driver's cabin and should help reduce the impact of a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist.


SWISS airline crew members are suing the company for Covid vaccine-related dismissal

In December 2021, Switzerland’s national airline was the first in Europe to introduce compulsory vaccination for its cabin crews. Anyone who did not comply was not allowed to fly.

Around 150 crew members who refused to get the shot are now suing the airline for unfair dismissal.

For its part, SWISS management argues that the company had the responsibility to protect its passengers and crews.

In addition, many countries where the airline flew required proof of vaccination to be allowed to land.

There’s no word about when the ruling will be handed down.

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