Negative interest! Swiss central bank goes sub-zero

Chilly interest rates from the SNB in Zurich/Bern

Winter arrives and the SNB chills out would-be franc investors ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss National Bank has lowered the interest rate it offers some account holders to -.25%, effective 22 January 2015. “Over the past few days a number of factors have prompted increased demand for safe investments. The introduction of negative interest rates […]

French court confirms €1.1 b UBS bail

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, was told it will have to pay a record euros 1.1 billion bail, or deposit, in a case brought by the French government. The bank is accused of fiscal fraud. The cours de cassation, France’s highest court, said the deposit can go ahead, according to news agency ats. […]

EasyJet adds 5 destinations from Geneva

easyjet_geneva_cointrin_luggage

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – EasyJet will be flying to 5 additional places next summer, from Geneva: Bologna (year-round) Minorca, Figari, Palermo and Santorini. The company also said in a press release that it has sold 55 percent of its winter seats.

Erdogan’s authoritarianism (Chappatte cartoon)

Erdogan's authoritarianism Chappatte_171214

©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.

Weather service gets new site

meteoswiss new web site_161214

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland’s national weather service, MeteoSwiss, has a new web site – contemporary, user-friendly, with new functions and better for smart phones. The new site went into service this morning, 16 December, providing stiffer competition for the numerous private weather forecast services online. The site has 1.4 million “users” a month for its […]

Google, Swiss rail boost Zurich’s Europpallee

Crowds for after-hours drinks and dinner are likely to swell as Google moves into Europaallee in Zurich

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The trendy shops and eateries near Zurich’s main train station, in the Europaallee district, will soon get a boost from a new batch of Google employees. The SBB/CFF rail company and Google have signed a contract, with the tech company leasing all remaining office and services space in the district. The move […]

What Switzerland googled this year

A small office space for private meetings, Google Zurich

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – By December we forget what seemed to matter so much in January; Google has just handed us a reminder, with its annual list of most-googled topics for the year. In Switzerland, by category, we asked about: General requests 1. World Cup 2014 2. iPhone 6 3. Michael Schumacher 4. Robin Williams 5. […]

Zurich news: airport closing, NZZ tussle, USA flights

Zurich airport - don't forget to charge your electronic devices!

ZURICH – Part of Zurich airport was closed briefly Monday afternoon following a “threat”, say officials, without elaborating. Charge your electronic devices! Zurich airport has had a new security policy in place since 10 October, and if you haven’t yet flown from there to the US or Canada, you should be aware of it: “Passengers […]

Reminder, new train schedules in effect

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A reminder that the new CFF train schedule went into effect Sunday; it’s a good idea to check to see if old, familiar routes have slightly different times. The first day went off mostly without a hitch, according to the rail company – except for a couple employees who couldn’t find their […]

Lindt café hostages in Sydney: breaking news

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Five hostages have escaped from the Sydney CBD Lindt Café in Australia, but others – possibly up to 30 – remain inside with a gunman. The story is being covered live by TV 7 news in Australia. Also see: News.com. au and the Sydney Morning Herald. The café is part of the […]