Bedtime reading: French ministers assets listed

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Just in time to give the public a good bedtime read, France’s government ministers late Monday 15 April published forms showing their assets and debts on a new government web page, Déclarations Patrimoines. French media are combing the accounts to see who paid how much for what bit of proprerty and where […]

Commodities trading now 3.5% GDP, says Bern


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The commodities trading business will be watched more closely, but will not come under the thumb of regulators, the Swiss government said Wednesday 27 March. The Federal Council says it has accepted 17 recommendations that are part of a report issued jointly by three federal government departments, set deadlines for implementing them, […]

Bern says no more untaxed assets in Swiss banks

Self-declarations may be required but won’t be obligatory BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Federal Council signalled Friday afternoon that it wants clear rules that will end acceptance by Swiss banks of untaxed assets. The catch-22 facing those who will draw up the new rules is how to tell banks they can ask for auto-declarations but […]

Swiss GDP growth forecast: 1% this year, 1.4% in 2013

No recession, but Swiss economy growth will be weak BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss economy will grow at a rate of 1 percent in 2012, rather than the earlier predicted rate of 1.4 percent, the federal government’s group of experts say in a revised forecast released 18 September, pushing aside gloomier forecasts of a possible […]

Public finances at all levels show “solid surpluses” as of 2013

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss public finances at the federal, cantonal and communal levels will show “solid surpluses” as of 2013, Bern said 30 August. Surpluses that fell in 2010 when GDP growth slipped to 0.2 percent, improved in 2011, but lower expenditures than expected and a better economic picture now show that the federal and […]

Report of Syrian “torture chambers” adds new dimension to the conflict

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A report issued Tuesday 3 July by Human Rights Watch (HRW) details 27 detention facilities run by Syrian intelligence agencies. Their presence and details about the types of torture, implements used and who was carrying it out have been shared by some 200 people interviewed by HRW in the past 15 months, […]

Bern gives transalpine rail cargo aid to offset high Swiss franc

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Four rail groups are receiving CHF21 million in aid from the Swiss government to offset some of the losses they suffered in 2011 due to the rapid increase in the value of the Swiss franc during the year. All four provide transalpine shipping and use combined or piggyback cargo transport, carrying trucks […]

Swiss gov’t to review need for central bank governance reform


BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss government is beginning a review of the possible need to reform governance of the Swiss National Bank. The cabinet Wednesday 25 January announced that it has asked Professor Paul Richli to draw up an external expert report that outlines “the tasks and responsibilities currently regulated in the National Bank legislation […]

Swiss gov’t's GDP growth rate for 2012 falls, jobless rate to rise

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Secretariat for the Economy, Seco, has revised downward its GDP growth projections for 2012, from 0.9 percent forecast in September to 0.5 percent, following a trend set by major banks’ and others’ research departments. A major impact will be a significant rise in unemployment, Seco notes. The jobless rate is […]

Swiss right-wing UDC embroiled in controversy over leaders’ activities

Correction 11.12.11  ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The UDC People’s Party, Switzerland’s right-wing party that has often made headlines in recent years for its poster campaigns and rhetoric, is back in the news but this time for the activities of its leaders. Christophe Blocher, former party leader and a member of the government for several years, has […]