Paquis likely first Geneva neighbourhood with CCTV cameras


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva has plans to install CCTV surveillance cameras around the city, most likely starting with the Paquis area. The new cameras would cost CHF1.9 million to install and about CHF1 million a year to operate. Geneva’s government Tuesday 9 April laid out plans for the new system. If parliament goes along with […]

Cypriot parliament vetoes tax on bank deposits

Bankruptcy inches closer GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Cypriot parliament has voted down the government’s plan to tax savings accounts, throwing its programme to save the country from bankruptcy into disarray. The government is holding an emergency meeting after the tax on savings went down without support from a single member of parliament. Banks and the […]

Valais police chief found guilty of stealing Turkish stone


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Christian Varone, police chief in canton Valais, was found guilty by a Turkish court Tuesday 19 March, of stealing an “archeological fragment”, a stone from near an ancient site at Antalya. The court sentenced him to one year and 15 days in prison, but the sentence is to be carried out only […]

Berlusconi’s back!

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Italian political bad boy and former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is going to run for the top office again, following an announcement by his replacement, Mario Monti, that he is stepping down. Not everyone is cheering the news. CNN carries a commentary by credit risk specialist Nicholas Spiro, who says “Italy needs […]

Appalachia revisited

By Matthew Stevenson Photos, Matthew Stevenson GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Not since the 1960s, in particular the campaigns of John and Robert Kennedy, has the question of Appalachia determined the outcome of a presidential election. Then it was a backdrop for speaking about domestic poverty, educational failures, the importance of labor unions, and the sense that […]

Enter the political/corporate fog machine, a great phrase

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Joshua Green at, thank you for coining a wonderfully useful new phrase, the Romney “fog machine”. My first thought was that this is the perfect description for a lot of corporate-speak, not to mention some of the unintelligible blather that comes out of the UN and a few other over-sized organizations. […]

Swiss entrepreneurs had a boom year in 2010, but few were women

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf

Women made up less than one-fifth of new companies GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland’s reputation for creative business spirit had a boost Tuesday when it was named the world’s most innovative country, but women are grossly under-represented, figures released Tuesday by the Federal Statistical Office show. The latest figures, for 2010, show that a record number […]

Swiss economic forecast jumps from 0.8 to 1.4 percent


Risks remain “significant”, says gov’t experts group BERN, SWITZERLAND – Good economic performance in the first half of 2012 lie behind a forecast revised upwards, says the Swiss Federal Department for the Economy. “Thanks to a robust domestic economic activity and a relatively resistant export industry, the Swiss economy is performing better than had been […]

Swiss bank surveillance gets tougher

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss financial surveillance body Finma will be keeping a closer eye on Swiss banks, particularly the two big banks UBS and Credit Suisse, under rules approved by the governing Federal Council Wednesday 23 May. Finma will work more closely with corporate auditors and strengthen its field team with the goal of […]

Foreigner workers’ salaries: record 27,000 checked for abuse

BERN, SWITZERLAND – A record 27,000 foreign workers’ salaries and working conditions in Switzerland were checked in 2011 for suspicion of abuse, in particular for underpayment. The number of short-term labourers (three month contracts) brought into Switzerland rose, which accounts in part for the increase in suspected cases of labour force abuse. Traditionally, about half […]