Geneva pushes tree-lined image


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The city of Geneva will be planting 250 trees in coming weeks, part of a major greening of the city that will see 486 new trees planted since the winter of 2012, reports the Tribune de Genève. The trees are at the centre of a larger, ambitious project to improve parks, plant […]

Central bank says no to 20% gold

Thomas Jordan, president of the SNB

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss National Bank made it official Tuesday 7 October that it does not support a popular initiative that would require the central bank to keep 20 percent of its holdings in gold, keep the gold in Switzerland and not sell off its reserves. The initiative goes before voters 30 November. The […]

Immigrants account for Swiss population growth

Becoming Swiss citizens

BERN, SWITZERLAND – It’s official: the Swiss population grew by more than 100,000 people to 8.14 million in 2013 thanks mainly to immigration. The growth in the number of Swiss citizens was fueled by those who acquired Swiss citizenship, rather than births. The natural increase in the population – the difference between the number of […]

Swiss “no” votes dominate

Shoreline in Geneva will remain the same, for now

Rejected: state health, eateries lower VAT, Geneva harbour tunnel, single Basel GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Voters in Switzerland Sunday rejected two federal-level popular initiatives, one for a state health care system (61.9 percent) and the other for a lower TVA/VAT (value-added tax) rate for restaurants, rejected by 71.5 percent of voters. Crossing Lake Geneva Cantonal and […]

Swiss add CHF20 milllion to Syrian aid funds

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland is increasing its humanitarian aid funds for Syria by CHF20 million to CHF50m for 2014, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter said 23 September, “in view of the constantly deteriorating situation – with almost 14 million people in Syria and its neighbouring states now in need of aid.” The additional funds, announced at […]

United they remain: Scots 55% against independence

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The results are now in and Scotland has voted 55.3 percent against independence, with 44.7 percent saying yes. The results were released more slowly than expected because of the heavy turnout, nearly 85 percent. Links: BBC, Guardian, Herald Scotland, Scotsman, Telegraph and Irish Times, Le Monde

Joint police check nabs group of lawbreakers

Contrôle Chablais 2

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Several lawbreakers were caught by surprise in a police net operation Wednesday around the Chablais area. The purpose, police said in a statement, was to help in the fight against cross-cantonal and cross-border crime. Vaud and Valais police, working with police in several communes in and around the Chablais area as well […]

EC cites Swiss progress on racism, calls for stronger laws

European Council: earlier education for migrants, racial and LGBT protection BERN, SWITZERLAND – The European Council’s fifth review of Switzerland for racism praises the country’s progress, particularly by federal and cantonal governments, but calls for more work in three key areas. The last review was in 2009 and since then Switzerland has made several improvements, […]

Swiss musings over Snowden: could versus would

©2014 Chappatte, distributed by Globe Cartoon. More cartoons on Chappatte’s web site. Geneva-based Patrick Chappatte works for the International New York Times, for Geneva newspaper Le Temps, and for NZZ am Sonntag. All cartoons reproduced with permission.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – Swiss media last week stirred around the possibility or likelihood that Switzerland could or would invite Edward Snowden to visit the country from his base in Russia to help investigations into US spying. The cause for the sudden renewed interest in Snowden was a leaked government document that laid […]

Road deaths down, critical injuries up

Source: Swisstopo

Cyclist and motorcyclist deaths, injuries both rise BERN, SWITZERLAND – Road accident figures for the first half of 2014 show that the number of deaths fell by 7 percent compared to a year earlier, but more people suffered critical injuries, with a 14 percent increase. Accidents killed 115 people between January and the end of […]