Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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European banks need new chiefs

EUROPEAN BANKS’ fourth-quarter earnings, releases of which are clustered around early February, have been surprisingly perky. Those with trading arms, such as UBS or BNP Paribas, rode on buoyant markets. State support helped contain bad loans; few banks needed to top up provisions.

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Covid changes Swiss holiday and transport habits

A third of Swiss people chose not to travel on holiday last year as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world, according to automobile association Touring Club Switzerland (TCS).

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Middle class shrinks in Switzerland

Statistics published at the end of January 2021 show a fall in the percentage of the population included in the definition of middle class in Switzerland.

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Covid: new negative test requirement for entering Switzerland

From Monday 8 February 2021, many people entering Switzerland require a negative PCR test. Currently, there are restrictions on who can enter Switzerland. Generally, only those with a Swiss passport, a valid Swiss residence or cross-border permit, and those who are citizens of an EU or EFTA nation are allowed to enter Switzerland under the current Covid-19 restrictions.

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‘Looking after citizens’ ID data is a sovereign task’

Lawyer and parliamentarian Sibel Arslan explains why she is against the proposed new law on digital identity (eID) and why rejecting it would be an opportunity for digitisation. 

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Covid: time to double down, says Swiss expert

Since reaching a peak in early November 2020, Covid-19 cases in Switzerland have fallen significantly. The 7-day daily average was 8,238 on 8 November 2020. By 8 February 2021, this figure was down by more than 80% at 1,437. However, according to Martin Ackermann, head of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force, now is not the time for Switzerland to relax.

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Covid: Israel’s vaccine experiment looks promising

Israel leads the world in the race to vaccinate against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in what some are calling the world’s leading Covid-19 vaccine experiment. 64 doses of vaccine per 100 people have been administered there, far more than in any other nation.

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Switzerland experiences highest unemployment rate in a decade

The unemployment rate in Switzerland rose again in January, reaching 3.7% - the highest level since April 2010. 

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The introduction of women’s suffrage worldwide

Switzerland was one of the last countries to grant women their right to vote, preceding only 22 other countries worldwide. Today, only one country doesn't allow women voters to cast their ballot in national elections, just because there aren't any. In Vatican City, an absolute monarchy, the legislators are appointed by the Pope. Neither male nor female citizens have the right to vote. February 7, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of Swiss women's...

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Protecting livestock from predators costs Swiss taxpayers millions

The federal government spends CHF4 million (around $4.4 million) a year to minimise the damage caused by predators like wolves and lynx.

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Vaccine delays costing Switzerland up to 100 million francs a day

A recent study by Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force calculates that vaccination delays are reducing Switzerland’s national output (GDP) by between CHF 50 – 100 million per day, according to RTS.

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Covid: responding to coronavirus denial

This week, the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force published a guide on responding to coronavirus denial. During second wave, trust in the decisions of the Swiss authorities dropped below where it was in spring, and the social consensus on how to respond to the pandemic eroded over the summer, said the authors.

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Can Novartis really make its medicines available to everyone?

Novartis has said it wants everyone in the world to be able to access its products, even multi-million-dollar gene therapies. Can its experiment work?

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Are Switzerland’s new tax breaks for companies a licence to misbehave?

Switzerland has announced that companies will be able to deduct multi-million dollar fines incurred abroad from their tax bill. Critics argue it rewards bad behaviour.

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Julius Baer: mast do better

Swiss private bank Julius Baer has benefitted from rising global markets over the past year, but can it keep it up the momentum?

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Switzerland’s four languages

The Swiss are known for their multilingualism. The proportion of polyglots has increased slightly since 2014, according to a new report from the Federal Statistical Office. Over two-thirds of adults regularly use more than one language. They need these skills to communicate with each other, either in the workplace or across the four distinct language regions. The majority speak German, followed by French, Italian and Romansh. The latter is in...

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Is the grass greener outside the EU?

Britain argues that Brexit will make British agriculture greener. SWI Swissinfo.ch looks at how successful EU agricultural policies have been, and how they compare with Switzerland’s approach.  

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UBS Multibanking available to corporate clients throughout Switzerland

UBS has successfully completed the pilot phase of its new multibanking function and is now gradually rolling out the offering across Switzerland. UBS Multibanking will now also give SMEs full transparency over all their accounts and allow them to execute payments debited from accounts with third-party banks directly in UBS E-Banking.

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Indonesia’s palm oil angers Swiss anti-globalisation activists

A free trade agreement between Switzerland and Indonesia has been challenged to a nationwide vote. The controversy focuses on the production and imports of palm oil.

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Deal or no Deal: How five non-member states handle EU relations

With Brexit done, Switzerland is hoping it can restart negotiations on its framework agreement with the European Union. The experience of other non-member states offers some valuable lessons on how it can engage with Brussels, though no blueprint exists.  SWI swissinfo.ch looks at how five other non-member states have negotiated with the EU.

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