GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva police should imitate Vaud police and use tracking for bike thieves, says local paper; a slew of ballot items in Switzerland this weekend; farmers battle government cuts; news on glaciers melting is not good.
12 bike thefts a day in Geneva
The Tribune de Genève argues that city police should do what Vaud police do, and use thief-tracking technology, but Geneva isn’t yet doing so. The news media argues that Geneva needs to move on this, with only 1% of the 3,000-plus annual cases of stolen bikes solved (3,241 in 2014). Insurance companies reportedly paid out CHF5 million for stolen bikes in Geneva in 2015.
Swiss go to the polls next weekend
Federal votes and regional, local ones – the 28 February ballots hold a number of divisive issues to be decided by Swiss voters. They include four federal issues:
- For the couple and the family: popular initiative that argues married couples are being penalized
- In favour of the effective return of criminal foreigners
- Against food supplies speculation
- Changes to the Gotthard road tunnel, from 2 to 3 lanes, change to the federal law governing Alpine transit traffic.
In addition, citizens in Vaud will have a first round of elections for communal officials. Geneva voters face an unusual 8 separate ballot items – a collection that has raised questions about limiting the number of popular initiatives. Half of them this time have to do with taxes, but in the city, versus the canton, voters will also have a say about the money being spent to restore the Museum of Art and History.
Farmers resigned as prices fall, subsidies cut
Swiss farmers are suffering the same blues as those in France, but their complaints to the government are a little more orderly, reports Le Temps. Subsidies are being cut to the tune of CHF100,000 a year starting in 2018 – Bern agreed to hold off on the cuts and not start them in 2016 following peaceful protests in Bern in November. But prices are at the lowest in years for a number of products, from pork to beetroot.