Swiss economy: now we’re down, now we’re up

Swiss factory, Fribourg, November 2014

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Mixed messages are coming in this week for the Swiss economy. Economiesuisse, the national think tank, Monday forecast a slipping economy in coming months. But GDP figures released Wednesday 3 December by Seco, the ministry for the economy, show Swiss GDP growth in the third quarter outstripping expectations by analysts. GDP rose […]

Switzerland jumps 4 points on anti-corruption index

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland moved to fourth place on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, published 3 December, up from 2013. Denmark continues to lead, with New Zealand second and the other Nordic countries all following. “While top performer Denmark has strong rule of law, support for civil society and clear rules governing the behaviour of […]

Lufthansa strike affects Swiss flights

Swiss - happier passengers with allergies, more profits and electronic devices for the whole flight

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Some 40 Swiss codeshare flights, mainly to and from Germany, have been canceled due to a strike 1 and 2 December at parent company Lufthansa. Others are operating normally and passengers should check for the latest information on their flights, says the airline  

Majority Swiss children get outside-home care

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The majority of Swiss children are now cared for regularly, a few hours a week, by someone other than their parents, outside the home. The latest numbers from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office show that 74 percent of pre-school children have regular daycare and 54 percent of children 5-12 do. The most […]

WTO does a trade deal! Customs, borders

Roberto Azevedo,  WTO director general (photo, 2013, WTO)

“Can’t wait 17-18 years for next agreement” says WTO head GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – It took 19 years, but the World Trade Organization finally has a done deal: member states in Bali agreed to streamline customs and borders procedures as part of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. Thursday it was finally adopted after several snags and a […]

Business news: Syngenta, Fitch on big banks

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – News highlights: Agrichemicals company seeks profits boost Syngenta confirmed in a statement this week that it will cut about 500 jobs in Basel, part of a larger reduction announced last February that will see some 1,800 jobs go, worldwide. The agrichemicals firm has 28,000 employees, of which 3,400 are in Switzerland, one […]

Equal salaries at rail company

train Bern station_191114

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The difference between what men and women earn for equal work at the CFF/SBB rail company is 0.3 percent, well within the “tolerated difference” of 5 percent, the company says. The rail group decided in 2012 to take part in a national programme, “Equal salaries dialogue” that encourages companies and their social […]

Swiss Empa researchers among “top 100 thinkers”

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Researchers immitate moths’ eyes for solar energy of future ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Artificial moth eyes could provide us with solar energy in the future, if work in this area at Empa continues to be successful. The researchers say their work is far from ready for industrial applications, but their work has just been rewarded. The […]

Banking, Fifa woes continue

Blatter in 2010, at a press conference about World Cup host city bids

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Another Swiss banker has been indicted in the US for helping US citizens evade taxes, but as a Swiss citizen he has not been extradited. The bank itself has not been named by US judicial authorities, but since they said it is the city’s oldest bank, news media abroad have published its […]

UBS sanctioned, 3 other banks must take measures

UBS logo with keys

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland’s Finma, the bank supervisory body, 12 November made world headlines for taking a strong stance against UBS, the country’s largest bank, saying it must pay out CHF134 million. Finma pointed not just to UBS but to three other Swiss banks that it said were remiss in managing foreign exchange traders. The […]