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
Some products are still cheaper across the border. Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash

Access to Swiss citizenship and companies recruiting US executives are among the news The Local reported this week. You can catch up on everything in this weekly roundup.


A woman jogger killed by a man in park near Zurich

The attack happened in Alma Park, in the quiet community of Männedorf on Lake Zurich, around 20 kilometres southeast of Switzerland's largest city.

A 19-year-old suspect was arrested o the scene and confessed to the crime.

He and the victim, who lived in the neighbourhood, didn’t know each other and no motive for the crime has so far been established.

The police has also not revealed how exactly the woman was killed.

Swiss media reported that the killer, who is a Swiss citizen of Croatian descent, is known to have had psychological problems in the past.

READ ALSO: Jogger killed by naked man in park was 35-year-old Swiss woman 

Wealthy, educated people have better access to Swiss citizenship

A new government survey reveals that nearly two-thirds of naturalisation applications are submitted by “highly qualified and wealthy people,” while the number of requests from “low-skilled and lower-income people has dropped considerably.”
The reason behind this development are more restrictive criteria for naturalisation that were introduced in 2018.

They require candidates to have not only better proficiency in a language of their region, but also “economic independence,” which means no reliance on social assistance — conditions than many low-earners can’t meet.

READ ALSO: Why are wealthy foreign residents far more likely to become Swiss citizens? 

New train timetable promises better connections

In what the national railway company, SBB calls “the biggest timetable change” in over two decades — to come into effect on December 15th — more trains will circulate to, and within, the French-speaking part of the country, which has not been as well served as its German-language counterpart.

For other regions too, more frequent connections are planned.

International lines to and from Switzerland will be expanded as well.

They include trains to Munich. Frankfurt, and Milan.
READ ALSO: How the Swiss train timetable's 'biggest change in 20 years' will impact you 


Swiss employers seek to hire professionals from the United States

Labour shortages, especially in specialised fields, are pushing big Swiss companies to recruit executives from abroad, specifically from the United States.

Companies even go so far as to cover the rent, private school tuition fees, and sometimes even taxes and health insurance, of the senior US executives.

The high cost involved in relocating sought-after US personnel, as well as all the perks they receive once in Switzerland — typically a package ranging from five to six-figures — are worth every franc, according to a spokesperson from Roche pharmaceutical company. .

 “What matters to us is the aptitude and performance of our employees. We want to attract the best talent, regardless of their origin.”

READ ALSO:  Why Swiss employers are eager to hire US professionals 

Cross-border shopping could be less lucrative than thought

To find out whether prices in neighbouring French regions are really lower than in Switzerland, a Swiss consumer organisation went comparison-shopping for the same 32 products in several supermarkets in both countries.

Though it may surprise some people in Switzerland, the group reported that price differences for basic necessities purchased on both sides of the border “are minimal.”

While France trumps Switzerland in food and beverage costs, Switzerland has lower prices on personal hygiene products, the association found.

READ ALSO:  Is shopping abroad really cheaper for Swiss consumers? 


And on the lighter side of the news...

A Swiss association dedicated to handing out awards for “the stupidest law or the most senseless intervention of the year,” has just announced its new winner.

It is the compost police, an official post introduced in the city of Zurich!

The new waste management ordinance calls for all organic waste to be deposited in containers, and the inspectors check the compliance with the rule by private households.

READ ALSO: Why have Zurich's compost collectors become notorious?



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