EconomyLoop
where regional business news becomes global to everyone

By the numbers: the Geneva passport boom

Almost every article published by swissinfo.ch contains a percentage, an age, an amount of money or some other figure. Here’s a round-up of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories. Sunday 71.6 The percentage of voter... read more

 SWISS INFO47 days ago

     
Swiss to vote (again) on buying new jet fighters

Swiss voters will have a say on whether to buy new fighter jets – but not on the type of jet. The Federal Council said on Friday the issue would be put to the nation given the large amount of money involved and that it was an essential part of nation... read more

 SWISS INFO47 days ago
Bark beetle continues its march in Switzerland

Scientists are sounding the alarm after the bark beetle damaged 320,000 cubic metres of spruce in 2017 – 3-4 times more than in the period 2008-2012. They are warning of a worsening situation this year. The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest. Snow ... read more

 SWISS INFO48 days ago
UBS chief’s pay rises to over CHF14 million

The chief executive of Switzerland’s largest bank UBS received CHF14.2 million ($14.92 million) in compensation for 2017, up from CHF13.7 million in 2016, UBS said on Friday. The announcement comes at a time when executive pay and bonuses are under... read more

 SWISS INFO48 days ago
Complaint filed against restart of world’s oldest nuclear reactor

The centre-left Social Democratic Party has lodged a complaint against the energy ministry over restarting Reactor block 1 at Beznau, the world’s oldest nuclear plant. The ministry should reverse the decision made by the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safet... read more

 SWISS INFO48 days ago
Raiffeisen chair resigns over scandal-tainted former CEO

Johannes Rüegg-Stürm, the chairman of the board of directors of Switzerland’s third-largest bank has resigned from his position with immediate effect. The bank hopes turn a new page following the arrest and criminal proceedings against former CEO Pie... read more

 SWISS INFO48 days ago
Switzerland - a definition of middle class

A recent survey calculates 60.1% of Switzerland's population was middle class in 2015, a figure that has remained broadly stable since 1998, reaching its highest in 2009 (61.3%) and lowest in 2013 (56.8%). But what is middle class in Switzerland? Acc... read more

 LE NEWS48 days ago
Highway robbery? The Post Bus scandal

Creative accounting? Hidden profits? What’s the story behind the Swiss Post Bus scandal?... read more

 SWISS INFO49 days ago
Your questions about the cost of living in Switzerland

Next week we’ll be sitting down with Stefan Meierhans, Switzerland’s official price watchdog. It’s his job to help ensure that prices for goods and services in Switzerland are fair. What would you like to ask him? Meierhans and his team at the feder... read more

 SWISS INFO49 days ago
How hot politics in the Balkans slowed the clock on your oven

Switzerland’s power grid is part of a large pool of ebbing and flowing electricity spanning 25 countries, known as the Continental European (EC) power grid. Enough electricity must be fed into it to keep it at a stable frequency. The EC’s magic numbe... read more

 LE NEWS49 days ago
Trump tariff plan may spark ‘undesirable chain reaction’

Switzerland and 17 other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have expressed their fears over United States President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, with most urging the United States to reconsider.  ... read more

 SWISS INFO49 days ago
Report criticises banks for investing in nuclear weapons

Anti-nuclear groups based in Switzerland and the Netherlands claim over 300 banks, pension funds and other financial institutions – including the Swiss bank Credit Suisse – last year invested over half a trillion dollars in nuclear weapon producing c... read more

 SWISS INFO50 days ago
Oldest Swiss nuclear reactor to restart

Reactor block 1 at Beznau nuclear power plant can restart after a three-year shutdown for repairs, the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate said on Tuesday.  Built in 1969, the Beznau facility in canton Aargau is the world’s oldest commercial n... read more

 SWISS INFO51 days ago
The man who fixes everything

Toni Eilert is one of ten technicians who are responsible for fixing everything at the Jungfraujoch tourist complex that sits at 3,454m. From repairing broken doors to rescuing people trapped in lifts, they perform a wide range of maintenance and tro... read more

 SWISS INFO51 days ago
What happens when you flush the toilet at Europe’s highest railway station?

swissinfo.ch went behind the scenes at one of Switzerland’s highest tourist attractions, the Jungfraujoch, to find out what it takes to keep over a million visitors hydrated, fed and breathing.    It is a little after 7am on a dark January morning b... read more

 SWISS INFO51 days ago
Tenor sought for unique winemakers' festival

The ‘Fête des Vignerons’ – a unique winemakers’ festival that takes place every 20 years in the Swiss town of Vevey – is searching for a soloist to lead some of the festivities, which get underway in 2019. The tenor will sing the ‘Ranz des vaches’, ... read more

 SWISS INFO51 days ago
The Swiss Abroad overwhelmingly rejected the 'No Billag' initiative

On Sunday the Swiss Abroad — like their compatriots back home — came out against the No Billag initiative, which aimed to cancel public financing for radio and television services by eliminating the mandatory broadcast licence fee. In most cantons, t... read more

 SWISS INFO51 days ago
Swiss press call for reforms following ‘No Billag’ vote

Commentators in the Swiss press have interpreted the overwhelming rejection (71.6%) of the ‘No Billag’ initiative on Sunday as a strong sign of support for a publicly funded Swiss TV and radio service. Nevertheless, they believe that the Swiss Broadc... read more

 SWISS INFO52 days ago
More and more passengers flying into a temper

Swiss airlines had to deal with more unruly passengers than ever before last year: 795 incidents occurred with people endangering other passengers and the flight itself.  This figure is up from 755 the previous year and 637 in 2015, according to the... read more

 SWISS INFO53 days ago
Meat sales drop in Switzerland

Less meat was sold in Switzerland in 2017 than the previous year, although the average Swiss still consumed a good 26 kilograms of meat over the year.  Sales of domestic and imported meat fell by 0.7% to 221,468 tonnes, the Federal Office for Agricu... read more

 SWISS INFO53 days ago
How Brexit affects me

Swiss research scientist, Vincent Croset, and brand manager for Mondalez, Nathalie Chuard (both on the left in the picture), explain what kind of obstacles the prospect of Brexit presents for them and their work. (Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch)... read more

 SWISS INFO53 days ago
Former Raiffeisen boss detained

Zurich prosecutors have placed Pierin Vincenz, the former chief executive of Swiss banking group Raiffeisen who is suspected of corporate fraud, in custody to prevent him communicating with other accused individuals.  Vincenz, also former chairman o... read more

 SWISS INFO54 days ago
By the numbers: ‘smartphone addiction’ and expat pay

Almost every article published by swissinfo.ch contains a percentage, an age, an amount of money or some other figure. Here’s a round-up of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories. Monday -28.9 The so-called “Beast f... read more

 SWISS INFO54 days ago
The number of people on welfare continues to rise in Switzerland

In 2016, around 273,000 people, 3.3% of the population, received welfare in Switzerland. The number (not the rate) was 2.9% higher than the year before and 15.7% higher than 5 years earlier when the rate was 3.0%. Rates of those receiving government ... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Swiss franc could hit 1.22 by year end, according to economists

According to Le Matin, economists at Swiss Life think the rise of the Swiss franc could be over and predict it will weaken to 1.22 to the euro by the end of the year. At the same time they point to risks that could send the currency in the opposite d... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Swiss fact: nearly 50% of Swiss GDP comes from 4 cantons

Switzerland is made up of 26 cantons - technically six are half cantons1 - each with its own distinct taxes, education system, hospitals and government. Land area varies significantly, from 37 sq/km Basel-Stadt to 7,105 sq/km Graubünden. Population i... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Income inequality in Switzerland remains stable after redistribution

Income inequality in Switzerland has remained stable according to a report published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office. A key measure of inequality involves dividing the income share of the top 20% by that of the bottom 20%, a measure known... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
A quarter of Swiss workers stressed and exhausted, according to new research

Around a quarter of Swiss workers are stressed and exhausted, according to new research. A three-year study by the University of Bern and Zurich University of Applied Sciences, which covers the period from 2014 to 2016, estimates that this stress and... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Switzerland tops latest financial secrecy index

While Switzerland isn’t the most financially secretive nation in the Tax Justice Network’s recently published report, its combination of size and secrecy pushed it into first place, the worst rank in the Financial Secrecy Index 2018. Size is factored... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Coop boycotts 150 Nestlé products over price disagreement

According to Swiss broadcaster RTS, Swiss retailer Coop, along with five other members of AgeCore SA, a Geneva-based purchasing alliance, have decided to boycott a large number of Nestlé products in the hope of striking a better deal on price. Sales ... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Geneva to Zurich for half the price of a Swiss train

Switzerland’s transport authority (OFT) recently gave Domo Swiss Express SA, a Zurich-based bus company, a green light to run three routes across Switzerland. The first will run from Zurich to Lugano, via Basel and Luzern, the second from St. Gallen ... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Swiss federal finances - surplus of billions in 2017

While many national governments, such as the US and UK, regularly spend more than they collect, Switzerland managed a CHF 2.8 billion surplus in 2017. In addition, CHF 2 billion of withholding tax is expected, which would push the surplus up to CHF 4... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Jobless in Switzerland after 55 - most end up longterm unemployed

Age discrimination in the Swiss job market appears to be getting worse. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of over 55s on welfare increased by 50.5%, something that cannot be fully explained by an aging population. The population aged between 56 and 6... read more

 LE NEWS54 days ago
Is the Abacha accord a model for returning ‘dictator funds’?

A recent Swiss agreement with Nigeria and the World Bank to return hundreds of millions in so-called “Abacha funds” is being hailed as a model for how other countries deal with dictators’ assets. But civil society organisations in both Switzerland an... read more

 SWISS INFO55 days ago
Snow hampers air traffic at Geneva airport

The wintry conditions in Switzerland have affected traffic in many parts of the country for a second consecutive day. Geneva airport temporarily suspended flights for several hours on Friday morning to allow ground services to clear the runway from ... read more

 SWISS INFO55 days ago
Train business deal with Iran causes confusion

The Swiss firm, Stadler Rail, has rejected reports that it signed off on a major infrastructure contract with Iran’s Industrial Development & Renovation Organization for 960 wagons for an underground railway system. The company said there is no deal... read more

 SWISS INFO55 days ago
2017 saw upswing in Swiss engineering jobs

The Swiss mechanical, electrical and metal industries are recovering, as indicated by increases in turnover and employment.  The industry lobby group Swissmem reported on Thursday that 4,500 additional jobs were generated in 2017 compared to the pre... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
How to kill a lobster: humanely, say the Swiss

A new regulation preventing cruelty to crustaceans comes into effect in Switzerland on Thursday, banning (among other things) the live boiling of lobsters. Good news for all God’s creatures or a step too far? The lobster sitting on the table in the... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
Geneva airport closed due to heavy snowfall

Geneva airport is closed until further notice due to snow on the runways, a spokeswoman told the Swiss News Agency on Thursday morning. The airport authorities are advising passengers not to travel to the airport at the moment, and to contact their ... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
UN expert: Switzerland must do more to combat ‘dirty money’

Despite progress in curbing illicit financial flows, Switzerland needs to do more to keep so-called ‘dirty money’ from entering its financial markets, such as tougher money laundering and tax evasion sanctions, a United Nations expert has declared.  ... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
Former Raiffeisen boss Vincenz faces criminal probe

Zurich prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings against the former chief executive of Swiss banking group Raiffeisen, Pierin Vincenz, looking into suspicions of misdealing. The bank has also joined the probe as a private complainant. “Raiffeisen... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
Monetas rescue deal collapses acrimoniously

The bail out of cash-strapped Swiss blockchain payments firm Monetas has been terminated by would-be investor Artillery One. The United States investment vehicle is also suing Monetas founder Johann Gevers for alleged breach of contract and “intentio... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
Younger skiers slip away from the Alpine slopes

Juggling two pairs of skis and a toddler for an after-lunch run down the slopes in the French Alpine village of Megève, a friend quips that, by now, technology innovators should have found an easier way to ski. Surely, she says, this is an industry r... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
Quarter of Swiss companies fail to pay bills on time

23.3% of businesses in Switzerland did not pay their bills on time in 2017, found the business information service Bisnode D&B in a survey published on Wednesday. That’s 0.3% less late-payers compared to 2016. The average delay of payments was also ... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
Lawmakers throw out plan to act on expat accounts

Parliament’s refusal to guarantee banking access to Swiss expatriates has placed the onus on banks to solve the longstanding problem. However, the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) remains confident that a solution can be found. OSA Director Ar... read more

 SWISS INFO56 days ago
Swiss struggle to break ‘smartphone addiction’

Only 31% of people in Switzerland manage to take a conscious break from media consumption at least once a day. One in four Swiss never actively disconnects at all, according a representative survey published on Monday. This applies to people in all ... read more

 SWISS INFO57 days ago
Federal police launch proceedings into PostBus subsidies scandal

The Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) is undertaking administrative proceedings against Swiss Post to examine irregularities in connection with federal and cantonal subsidies received by its subsidiary PostBus.  The Federal Council (executive body) ... read more

 SWISS INFO57 days ago
Foreign drivers pay up to 95% more for insurance

A price survey has revealed large differences for car insurance premiums offered to foreigners in Switzerland compared to Swiss residents. An Albanian driver can be charged up to 95% more than a Swiss, it found. The price comparison website compari... read more

 SWISS INFO57 days ago
Rosier economy should boost Swiss housing market

The economic upturn should drive demand for Swiss property after a period of record construction and lower rental prices, a survey claims.  The improved economic situation should “revive demand in all segments” of the Swiss housing market, according... read more

 SWISS INFO57 days ago
Swiss weapons exports explode

Switzerland delivered war materiel worth CHF446.6 million ($477 million) to 64 countries last year, an increase of 8% on 2016 – despite a 1% drop in commodity exports as a whole.  The export of war materiel made up 0.15% of total Swiss exports, acco... read more

 SWISS INFO57 days ago