Muehleberg nuclear plant to remain open past June

Reactions stream in, as supreme court overturns high court order LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss supreme court, the Tribunal Federal in Lausanne, ruled Thursday 28 March that the nuclear power station in Muehleberg, canton Bern, can continue to operate after June 2013. The federal administrative court, one of the country’s high courts, had ruled a […]

Swiss battle over store hours heating up

Lower house votes in favour of longer hours GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The lower house of the Swiss parliament has voted to extend store opening hours to 20:oo throughout the country, with longer weekend hours as well, in a measure aimed mainly at curbing cross-border shopping. Stores in border areas such as Geneva, Basel, parts of […]

Associated Press shutters Swiss French-language operation

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Associated Press will end its presence in French in Switzerland, when it closes its operations in western Switzerland at the end of January 2013, former employees announced Monday 28 January at a press conference in Bern. The folding of AP Suisse Romand comes just over a month after the French press agency, […]

Newsweek, the inky version, bites the dust

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Newsweek will print its final edition 31 December 2012, after 80 years as one of the main national media outlets in the US. The spin is of course all positive, that it will become a stronger, more dynamic digital-only operation. But down several paragraphs into its announcement is the more sobering real […]

Merck Serono confirms closing Geneva operation

€30 million fund to encourage employees to create startups GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Merck Serono confirmed Tuesday morning 19 June that it will go ahead with plans to close its Geneva European head office, “After a thorough review of these proposals, the Company has determined that these proposals are not viable or practicable given the need to […]

Federal gov’t, Geneva, meet with top Merck Serono execs

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Johann Schneider-Ammann, Swiss minister for the economy, met Monday 7 May with Geneva cantonal authorities and senior executives from Merck Serono, which announced a week ago it will be closing its Geneva European head office and cutting 700 jobs. Schneider-Ammann, who labeled the decision to close down Geneva operations and cut back […]

Switzerland closing its Damascus embassy

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss embassy in Damascus, Syria will be closed in the next few days, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter told RSR, Swiss public radio Wednesday 15 February. The move is intended to send a strong signal to Syrian President Bachar Al-Assad, says the head of Swiss diplomacy, but it comes as government […]

Novartis’s Prangins site to remain open

NYON, SWITZERLAND – Novartis will not close its Prangin site and all jobs there will be saved, the company will be investing more money in the plant, canton Vaud will give the company a tax break and some of the unused space will be developed into housing. Tough talks between Novartis workers and managers, the […]

Geneva Festival pulls in half million for fireworks; damages, theft on rise


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Geneva Festival was a great success in 2011, pulling in more than 500,000 visitors for the Saturday night fireworks alone, says the city’s tourism office, but the downside was that the number of thefts and amount of vandalism rose. Overall, some 1.8 million visitors took part in the 10 days of […]

Swiss lower house backs gov’t bid to 2034 end to nuclear energy

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss parliament’s lower house Wednesday morning 8 June backed the government’s recommendation to close down the country’s nuclear energy plants, voting two to one in favour of several motions similar to the one sent to parliament by the government. Nuclear power plants currently provide 39.3 percent of the country’s energy, hydroelectric […]