Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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Most want masks made compulsory on Swiss public transport, suggests survey

More than two thirds are in favour of making masks compulsory on Switzerland’s public suggests a survey run by Tamedia, according to the newspaper Le Matin.

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Swiss maker of clean aviation fuel gets boost from Lufthansa

The Lufthansa Group has entered a partnership with the Swiss solar fuel developer Synhelion. The Swiss start-up is working to produce a fuel that emits 50% less CO2 by 2022 and plans to market a 100% renewable fuel in 2030.

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Swiss finance minister concerned about Covid-19 debt crisis in Europe

Ueli Maurer has warned that the financial crisis following Covid-19 and the resulting instability in Europe are a danger for Switzerland. In an interview with public broadcaster RTS on Tuesday, he said that he is concerned about the repercussions on Switzerland of a possible debt crisis in certain countries, especially Italy.

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EasyJet customer data hacked

Yesterday, EasyJet announced that a “highly sophisticated” cyber-attack had affected around 9 million customers. The company said its “investigation found that the email address and travel details of approximately 9 million customers were accessed. These affected customers will be contacted in the next few days. If you are not contacted then your information has not been accessed.”  

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Italy set to reopen borders with Switzerland from 3 June 2020

Italy is preparing to reopen its borders with the rest of Europe, according to the newspaper La Repubblica. A draft law on new rules was published on 15 May 2020 by the Italian Council of Ministers. It provides for the possibility of allowing entry to Italy from 3 June 2020 without requiring those arriving from certain countries to quarantine for 14 days. The countries include EU nations and Schengen members, including Switzerland and Monaco.

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National Bank snubs calls for more coronavirus money

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has dismissed demands to increase its payout to help the economy cope with the costs of the coronavirus pandemic. Governing board member Andréa Maechler an additional financial contribution would counteract monetary policy.

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Minister calls for extra funds for Swiss unemployment system

Economics Minister Guy Parmelin says it is crucial to end the lockdown and prevent a collapse of the unemployment scheme to ensure Switzerland’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. Parmelin said the government would decide on an injection of additional funds into the state unemployment scheme at one of its next meetings.

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‘Clean and safe’ image could boost Swiss tourism

Switzerland Tourism has welcomed next month’s re-opening of borders with France, Germany and Austria. It believes the country’s reputation for cleanliness and tidiness could be a selling point once the Covid-19 pandemic dies down.

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Swiss rank high in energy index

Switzerland has placed second in a global index comparing current energy systems and readiness for the transition to cleaner sources. In its new Energy Transition Indexexternal link, the World Economic Forum (WEF) identifies the coronavirus pandemic as a serious threat to the switch to renewable energies.

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Swiss government reveals more on Covid-19 tracing app

On 13 May 2020, Switzerland’s government published more information on the Swiss Proximity Tracing App (Swiss PT), an app designed to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Developed by teams at EPFL and ETHZ, the app uses Bluetooth to detect when your phone comes within two metres of another phone or device with the app. It then records the contact as an anonymous key and the duration of contact, flagging any close contact longer than 15 minutes.

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Tyres and litterbugs spread plastic across Switzerland

Each year some 14,000 tonnes of plastic waste end up in the Swiss environment. A federally commissioned analysis identifies two main culprits: tyre abrasion (around 8,000 tonnes) and littering (around 2,700 tonnes).

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Price watchdog criticises cost of becoming Swiss

Naturalisation fees vary among Switzerland’s 26 cantons. This has caught the eye of the federal price watchdog, who doubts that the fees fall within the legal framework. The law on Swiss citizenship stipulates that “the fees may not amount to more than is required to cover costs”. But for price watchdog Stefan Meierhans this is “more than questionable”, as he writes in his newsletter on Thursday. 

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SWISS publishes flight timetable for June

After grounding most of its fleet because of Covid-19, Swiss International Air Lines will partially restart its flight operations in June and plans to operate up to 190 flights from Zurich and Geneva to 41 European destinations. The return to the skies would follow in stages, and the range of flights available will gradually be increased over the coming weeks, SWISS said on Thursday, announcing its timetable for June.

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Top Swiss firms pay respects to ‘formative’ business leader Fritz Gerber

Pharmaceutical giant Roche and Zurich Insurance have paid their respects to business executive Fritz Gerber, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 91. “Fritz Gerber was one of the most influential business leaders in Switzerland during a period of formative development for the country’s modern, open economy,” Zurich Insurance said in a statement on Monday.

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Coronavirus: the dangers of singing

As Switzerland reopens, the details around how SARS-CoV-2 spreads becomes more relevant to everyday life. Matthias Egger, the head of Switzerland’s Covid-19 task force, stresses the importance of continuing to follow social distancing and hygiene rules.

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Coronavirus: anti-lockdown protests in Switzerland

Over the weekend, hundreds rallied against lockdown measures across Switzerland in the cities of Bern, Zurich, Basel and St. Gallen. Anti-lockdown protesters in these cities flouted rules introduced in mid-March banning public groups of more than five people, designed to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The protestors consider the rules in breach of their fundamental rights.

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Falcon exits Swiss private banking after 1MDB scandal

The Abu Dhabi-owned Falcon private bank says it is winding down activities in Switzerland and is in talks with a Swiss rival to take on its existing clients next year. Falcon was taken to task by regulators in both Switzerland and Singapore for its role in channelling assets from the Malaysian 1MDB fraud.

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Most think Switzerland is reopening fast or too fast, according to survey

A survey published on 7 May 2020, suggests only 36% of Swiss support the government’s calendar for reopening the country after the Covid-19 shutdown. 23% think the plan to reopen is too slow, while 42% think it is fast or too fast. However, 60% said they had confidence in the government.

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Swiss customs uncover blackmarket animal drugs scam

More than 200 farmers, many in Switzerland, are suspected of buying illegal medicaments for their livestock from a French blackmarket dealer. Swiss customs uncovered the scam when the veterinarian was stopped at the border with his car full of animal drugs.

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Swiss tourism industry struggling for survival

The Swiss tourism industry will take five years to recover from the coronavirus pandemic with around a quarter of companies in the sector fearing for their future. However, Martin Nydegger, head of Switzerland Tourism, believes something can still be salvaged for the industry this year.

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