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SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/12/2020 11:44
The Swiss government has asked for an extra CHF770 million ($841 million) in funds to tackle the coronavirus fallout. This comes on top of the CHF31 billion in bailout funds approved by parliament since March. The latest batch of funds is to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic in 13 areas. Some CHF288.5 million has been earmarked to pay for Covid-19 testing, but this amount can be offset against funds already allocated for procuring medical equipment, the government announced on Wednesday. Another CHF221.3 million is needed to shore up the national railway system that has seen a huge drop in passenger numbers as a result of the pandemic. Air traffic control company Skyguide requires CHF400 million to make up for lost revenues result.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/12/2020 06:14
The leading Swiss luxury watch and jewellery company Bucherer has announced it plans to slash 370 of its 2,400 jobs worldwide due to the coronavirus crisis hitting tourism. Most of the jobs to be cut are at shops and the company’s headquarters in the central Swiss city of Lucerne, according to a statement on Wednesday. About 150 positions in other countries will also be affected, notably in the United States where 100 jobs have already been cut. “The global coronavirus crisis and the almost complete collapse of international tourism has hit Bucherer very hard,” a statement said. The absence of Asian tourists in Switzerland since January had led to a massive and continuing slump in turnover. Sales dropped by more than 90% in Lucerne alone an.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/11/2020 10:27
Swiss consumers and importers saved CHF2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) in 2018 thanks to lower customs duties as part of free trade agreements, a study has revealed. A report commissioned by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) found that Swiss firms had made good use of free trade accords. “Free trade deals have enabled Swiss firms to improve their competitiveness on Swiss and international markets,” the study by the University of St Gallen concluded. Some 73% of Swiss importers made use of free trade agreements, SECO said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, CHF1.8 billion was saved in customs duties via exports to free trade partner countries. The small Alpine nation in the centre of Europe has concluded some 30 free trade agreements with 40 p.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/11/2020 06:14
During the depths of the coronavirus crisis in Europe in late March, Sergio Ermotti remembers sitting in his home study in Lugano, reflecting on the latest financial meltdown to engulf his career as a banker. “If I go through my last eight years, we had a lot of mini-earthquakes, but never of the magnitude of what we are seeing now,” the 60-year-old UBS chief executive says. “This is a crisis that is driven by fear in a different way . . . this time it’s not just about people losing their assets or savings, it’s about their life, it’s about their families. It’s so profound, so different.” Switzerland’s largest bank is weathering the crisis relatively well, considering its share price is down only 10 per cent this year, a more modest fall th.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/11/2020 05:00
European immigration to Switzerland on the whole meets the needs of the labour market, and scrapping free movement would cost the economy dearly, various studies show. “Moderate” immigration without free movement: this is what the conservative right Swiss People’s Party says it wants to achieve with its popular initiative, which comes before voters in September. The initiative calls for the repeal of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons and making it impossible for any new treaties to be concluded that grant a similar arrangement for foreign nationals in Switzerland. A full 20 years after the agreement was signed, its critics question the economic benefits of free movement for Switzerland. The data presented below helps to shed som.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/10/2020 11:34
Researchers say the government’s economic support has been a key factor in avoiding a wave of bankruptcies in Switzerland despite the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 20% fewer companies went out of business between March and July than in the same period last year, the KOF Economic Institute said on Monday. “The number of bankruptcies has not been significantly higher than expected in any major region or sector of the economy,” a statement said. The researchers noted that even the hospitality sector and the entertainment industry have been affected “very little”. However, the economic downturn was evident across all major regions of the country, but to varying degrees, the institute said. One reason for the generally low level of bankruptcies c.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/09/2020 10:50
An investigation has been opened into the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) following a fatal pleasure flight crash two years’ ago. The probe was initiated following complaints from accident investigators. The exact nature of the criticism has not been disclosed, but the Swiss transport ministry told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper that the probe would look at “systematic aspects of supervision”. The Netherlands Aerospace Centre has been called in to examine FOCA, with the findings expected to be ready by spring 2021. The newspaper report of the investigation was confirmed to the Keystone-SDA. It follows the crash of a vintage Ju-52 aircraft in the Swiss Alps in 2018 that left 20 people dead. A report into that accident is expecte.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/09/2020 05:00
Swiss women are losing out when it comes to achieving managerial positions compared to their male colleagues and female peers from other countries. The common Swiss working model of women taking over childcare and men working full-time makes it harder for Swiss mothers to climb up the career ladder. The number of women working in the private sector is continuously increasing, but most female employees still play a subordinate role. About 65% of all promotions given in Switzerland go to men, even though many women are highly qualified. These are the findings of the 2019 “Gender Intelligence Report” published by the Competence Centre for Diversity & Inclusion at the University of St Gallen and Advance, a business association for gender equali.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/07/2020 13:18
Zurich cantonal police sends passenger data on people flying into Zurich airport from countries on Switzerland’s coronavirus “risk list” to several other cantons, it has been revealed. Canton Zurich has been collecting the data from airlines since Wednesday in order to check that people are keeping to the 10-day quarantine rules. Since July 6 anyone entering Switzerland from a country or area with an increased risk of infection must spend ten days in voluntary quarantine and report their arrival to the relevant cantonal authority within two days. The list of 46 countries can be found here. On Wednesday mainland Spain was added to the list. Anyone who fails to comply with this obligation to report risks a fine of up to CHF10,000 ($11,000). I.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/06/2020 07:50
A Hermes 900 HFE drone intended for the Swiss army crashed in the Israeli desert on Wednesday during a test flight. The drone was completely destroyed but there were no injuries or other damage to third parties, said the Federal Office of Defence Procurement (armasuisse) on Thursday. The army was informed of the crash by the Israeli manufacturer Elbit Systems. “The drone was intended to form part of the ADS15 procurement package for the Swiss Armed Forces. The cost of the damage will be covered by Elbit Systems Ltd,” said armasuisse. The cause of the crash is not yet known, and an investigation has been launched by the Israeli Ministry of Transport. More delay The Swiss army ordered six Hermes 900-type drones in 2015 at a cost of CHF250 mil.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/06/2020 05:01
The economic repercussions of the coronavirus have caused turnover at the airline to fall by 55% in the first half of 2020. With a turnover of CHF1.17 billion francs ($1.28 billion) between January and the end of June, the carrier suffered an operating loss of CHF266.4 million in the first half of the year, following an operating profit of CHF245.3 million a year earlier. At the same time, the number of passengers fell by 64% to 3.2 million, the company announced on Thursday. The airline was already hit hard by the spread of Covid-19 and travel restrictions in the first quarter of 2020, when it posted an operating loss of CHF84.1 million, following an operating profit of CHF48.3 million a year earlier. The situation is not likely to improve.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/06/2020 05:00
Making textiles out of old fishing nets and plastic bottles is one way to deal with plastic waste, but do they contribute to microplastic pollution? Scientists from two Swiss institutes have been researching what happens when synthetic fabrics are washed. Last summer I bought my partner a pair of swim trunks made from recycled PET bottles. I liked the idea of making something new out of waste, while he liked not having to go shopping. A year later, the trunks are still in great shape and I’ve seen ads for bikinis made of similar materials. But what will happen when the swimwear starts to wear down? Will it release microplastics into the water supply or food chain? Researcher Yaping Cai at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/04/2020 13:53
Pro-Russian separatists are financing their war in Ukraine with coal deliveries to the West. Now the role of Swiss companies in Zug and Geneva is being investigated, according to a report in the SonntagsZeitung. V* AG describes itself on its website as a “reliable and responsible supplier of high-grade solid fuels”, selling “coal of Russian and Kazakh production”. The Ukrainian judiciary sees things differently: it has named the Zug-based company in a criminal case concerning the illegal import of hard coal from the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, which is occupied by pro-Russian separatists. In addition to V* AG, the judiciary has named three other companies that are domiciled in Switzerland or whose owners are Swiss. They are not direc.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/04/2020 05:12
The number of overnight stays in Swiss hotels practically halved in the first six months of the year. Covid-19 also hit demand for public transport, with passengers notching up a third of their normal distances by train in the past three months. Hotels saw 9.9 million overnight stays from the start of the year until the end of June, a drop of 47.5% compared with the same period in 2019. The year had started well for the hospitality industry, with January and February showing increases in guest numbers, before Covid-19 virtually shut the business for the next three months. Overnight stays plummeted 62% in March, 92% in April and 79% in May compared with the previous year. The fall in numbers was particularly pronounced among foreign guests (
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/03/2020 10:21
The world’s first certified aircraft powered by electricity has completed its maiden flight in western Switzerland. The two-seater Pipistrel Velis Electro is mainly used for basic pilot training. It flew over a village near Fribourg last week, announced Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) on Monday. Its certification came via close cooperation between FOCA and other aviation authorities, as well as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel. In the three years leading to the certification process, FOCA and the others defined the conditions for its operation, maintenance, and pilot and personnel training. Thanks to this small plane, aviation authorities have been able to gain exper.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 08/03/2020 06:21
James Murdoch, the son of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, has been elected to the board of directors of the leading Swiss exhibitions group, MCH. His investment firm, Lupa Systems, is to hold up to 49% of the shares of the group that organises the Art Basel and the Baselworld watch and jewellery fairs. The MCH Group is expecting a 50% drop in sales for the current year. An extraordinary shareholder meeting also confirmed two other new members of the board as well as two capital increases for a total of up to CHF104.5 ($114.3 million), according to a company statement published on Monday. “The shareholders have expressed their support for both the package of measures to manage the corona crisis and the strategic realignment,” MCH Group CEO Bern.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 07/31/2020 07:54
Let’s dispose of the bad news right from the start. If you’re reading this and don’t live in Europe, chances are you’re not going to make it to Switzerland this year. Now for the good news. Swiss holidaymakers are enjoying their summer staycations, flooding like never before into unsung corners of the country. And by doing so they’re stimulating local economies and encouraging alpine towns and villages to double down on investments they’ve been making in sustainable tourism: cosy accommodation for longer-term stays, hiking and cycling itineraries, the sale of homegrown products, cooking or language courses, or guided walks to learn about the flora and fauna. It is a moment worth seizing to restore the vitality of villages that have up to no.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 07/31/2020 05:58
Office rents in Switzerland went down by 3.3% in the second quarter of the year, according to an index published on Friday. Residential rents, however, have not been affected by Covid-19. The biggest change in office space rates were in the most expensive areas: around Lake Geneva, rents went down by 4.7% in April, May and June, while in Zurich, the drop was 3.9%. The statistics were published on Friday by the Fahrländer research and consultancy group, who write that “although the office space market is robust, uncertainty about how the pandemic and its impact are likely to develop is causing businesses to act cautiously.” In the first quarter of the year, prices had already dropped for the first time in three years. On the housing market,
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 07/30/2020 19:00
I've just climbed the Mönch, a 4000m (13,000ft) peak in the Swiss Alps, with two close friends. They are now one step closer to realising their dream of reaching the summits of the famous Bernese Oberland trio: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, and we are descending happily, under blue skies, back towards the plateau at the top of the Jungfraufirn: a tributary of the Great Aletsch glacier. It should be a wilderness up here, but this alpine landscape has not been a wilderness since 1912, when the highest mountain railway project in the Alps was completed. It shouldn't come as much surprise then, that the glacier is a hive of activity. Yet still, as the three of us glance down from time to time, there is disbelief. A black, unbroken line, like a row.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 07/30/2020 04:27
The Swiss bank boasted its best second quarter results in a decade despite uncertainty surrounding the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy. From April to June 2020, net income at the second-largest Swiss bank rose year-on-year to almost CHF1.2 billion ($1.3 billion), 24% more than in the previous year. “In a continued volatile market environment, we delivered a strong performance,” said Thomas Gottstein, who became chief executive of the Swiss bank in February following the resignation of Tidjane Thiam, who became embroiled in a spying scandal. The bank benefited from the Swiss market's resilience thanks in part to a Swiss government-backed scheme to provide cash-strapped small and medium-sized companies with emer.


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