Crime rate up 9% in Switzerland, mainly theft – urban areas worst hit

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Lausanne’s increase highest: detective work paying off, but cop patrols to be stepped up GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Crime is on the rise in Switzerland, up 9 percent overall in 2012, with robberies showing an 11 percent increase nationwide. Theft in urban areas has risen more rapidly than elsewhere. Two other areas of crime that are […]

Half of Swiss forests play protective role

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Half of all Swiss forests, and in Alpine areas 90 percent of them, play a critical role in protecting the population, according to an environmental report published Monday 11 February. The report shows that it costs the Swiss federal government CHF60 million a year to maintain 585,000 hectares of forests, 40 percent […]

Switzerland steps up reorganization for handling asylum requests (update 2)

Immigration in Switzerland

30,000 requested asylum in 2012 BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland in future will house its asylum seekers in five regions, each with several centres run by the federal government, with cantons taking a smaller share of them, a national conference involving all levels of government agreed Monday 21 January. The group issued a declaration at the […]

Inheritance tax initiative moves into final month for signatures

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A popular initiative that will be put to Swiss voters if the required 100,000 signatures are collected by 16 February could have a significant impact on inheritance taxes in Switzerland. The measure, if approved, would see a federal law rather than the current mix of cantonal laws, covering inheritance. Taxes collected would […]

Taxed garbage arrives in most Vaud communities

Official Vaud taxed garbage bag, available at stores in 17, 35, 60 and 110 litre sizes, for a fee (the bag is identical throughout the canton). Black and gray bags are no longer accepted for collection.

LAUSANNE / GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Lausanne is doing it, Morges is doing it, and so are most but not all villages in canton Vaud: Black garbage bags are being replaced this week by white bags on which a rubbish collection tax is levied. The brouhaha and political debate around the bags when the possibility of […]

Swiss tax deals under fire for helping firms “rob the South”

Geneva commodities traders drawing more attention BERN, SWITZERLAND – Transnational companies that are given special low tax status by cantons had profits of CHF53 billion in 2008, figures published Wednesday night by Swiss public television show. They are based on information RTS obtained from the federal government, which did not reply to RTS’s request for […]

How the cantons fare: finalists in the Swiss wine competition

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Grand Prix du Vin Suisse, while not a competition that pits one canton against another, serves as a kind of register for how well wines from the six main wine regions fared against those from other parts of the country. The 2012 distribution of Swiss wine finalists by region and canton […]

Geneva’s employment rate: don’t forget the diplomats and NGOs!

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The canton of Geneva has contacted federal authorities to point out what it calls an “omission” in federal records for 2011, with jobs held by diplomats and international organization workers not taken into account in the rate and density of employment figures for Switzerland’s urban centres. The oversight was noted in the […]

Geneva yes to childcare centres, Vaud opts for canton’s assisted suicide plan

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Swiss voters Sunday 13 June had cantonal ballot issues to consider as well as federal ones. Geneva voters  embraced a modified proposal, giving every child under school age the constitutional right to have a place in a daycare centres. A proposal by the Left was modified in a government proposal so that […]

Swiss wineries open house days: tips for visiting

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Swiss cantons are becoming increasingly organized and coordinating their work for the cantonal wineries’ open house days. The same basic tips apply for visiting all of them: Your starting point should be the GenevaLunch news story on the event (search name of canton + wineries open house). The open houses are designed […]