Fatca en route for Swiss banks, as agreement adopted by Bern

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss government formally adopted the Fatca tax agreement with the United States Wednesday morning, publishing at the same time the results of its consultation (French, German) with interested parties within Switzerland. Background, GenevaLunch, Fatca The statement from Bern, in full: “Both the Fatca agreement between Switzerland and the United States that […]

ICRC given birthday gift of extra Headquarters funding

This is how the new ICRC building in Satigny will look like - Photo Fipoi

Swiss government also provides for hiring, training 150 new staff GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss government, the second largest donor to the International Red Cross (ICRC), is giving the Geneva-based organization a special gift for its 150th birthday, a CHF70 million “Headquarters contribution” to enable the ICRC “to perform its challenging task in the service […]

ICRC gets 150 new delegates for its 150th anniversary

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland is honouring the International Committee of the Red Cross on its 150th anniversary by financing the training of 150 new delegates to the humanitarian organization, Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Burkhalter announced Friday 15 March, in Bern. “ICRC employees are the best face of Switzerland, and the best face of the world”, […]

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, […]

If you read what the NY Times says about Swiss banks, take time to read what the Swiss say (update)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – This is an appeal to intelligent readers, and I know there are many out there, to at least reflect on the other side of the story if you’ve read the New York Times editorial published Friday 10 February on US pressure on Swiss banks. It’s a remarkably trite piece of writing, with […]

Right weakened, but same overall mix for Swiss gov’t

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Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, finance minister, will be president for 2012 Alain Berset, Socialist, replaces Calmy-Rey BERN, SWITZERLAND – Alain Berset, the Swiss senate’s youngest member at age 31, was elected easily with 126 votes in a second round of voting, to Switzerland’s government. The election of the Socialist from Fribourg completes the election of the 7-member […]

Swiss condemn Israel for measures against Palestine

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss government said Wednesday night 2 November that it condemns Israel for two new measures, voted by the Israeli cabinet Tuesday, shortly after Unesco admitted Palestine as a member. Bern stopped short of calling the measures retaliatory, but it notes that the decision by Tel Aviv to “speed up construction of […]

Public transport gets high green marks compared to cars

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss public transport systems do more than simply carry more people for less fuel: they also get relatively high ecology marks for their overall impact on the environment. A study ordered by the federal government, published in German 9 September, shows that while public transport is far ahead of road traffic at […]

Swiss gov’t says it’s ready to intervene, but cautions against short-term reaction

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Federal Council says it is closely watching the record high Swiss franc situation, studying options and is ready to act if necessary, but it cautions against knee-jerk reactions that provide only short-term solutions. It issued a cautious statement Tuesday morning 9 August about the extraordinary meeting held by the governing […]

New brochure for immigrants lays out the basics

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BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Migration Office has published a new brochure for immigrants, in nine languages including English, with basic information about life in Switzerland, tips for settling in and links to official sites to take things to the next step. The brochure appears to be aimed mainly at people who move to Switzerland […]