Protests erupt following voter referendum

Protests erupt following voter referendum

Tue, Sep 27th 2022

Switzerland’s gold refineries are under investigation, the winter forecast may ease the energy crisis and more in our roundup of news from September 23 – 27.

Protestors gathered hours after the results of the referendum were announced. (Credit:

Protests following Swiss voter referendum on retirement age

Several hundred women gathered on Bern’s Bahnhofplatz Monday to protest against increasing the retirement age for women from 64 to 65 – a measure that was narrowly passed by 50.6 percent during Sunday’s voter referendum. The protest is a “declaration of war against old, rich, white men,” according to SP National Councilor Tamara Funiciello, who spoke with local newspaper NZZ am Sonntag. Under the reform, the VAT will increase up to 0.4 percent to finance the state-backed Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), one of the three pillars of the Swiss pension system. As Swiss life expectancy increases, the urgency to balance OASI’s budget was needed, according to those who support the reform. Critics of the reform say that women deserve to retire a year earlier than men because of a persistent gendered pay gap and the unpaid work women do. Read more.

Just another Sunday in Switzerland: The voter referendum results

Mild winter may ease energy crisis

Switzerland is likely to experience a mild start to its winter – which could, in turn, help conserve low energy supplies and avoid rolling blackouts, according to meteorologist Stephen Bader of MeteoSchweiz. “The seasonal forecast from October to December tends to point to a mean temperature for the whole of Switzerland above the average of the last 30 years,” Bader told local media outlet NZZ am Sonntag. This mild start could stretch into February, which would help ensure gas supplies for heating are not used too quickly, nor water reservoirs emptied. Read more.

Switzerland’s looming energy crisis is pulling nation apart

Swiss gold refineries under fire

Top global gold importer Switzerland has come under fire for supporting gold mining that violates human rights such as employing children, sexual exploitation of employees, and poisoning local communities with mercury run-off. An investigative committee recently presented a report detailing the violations to the UN Human Rights Council. Switzerland imported CHF 90 billions of gold in 2021. The committee says a portion of this metal is being mined illegally in places such as Venezuela and Bolivia where roughly 10 to 15 million people are employed – 1 million of which are children. Current data shows the Switzerland is accepting large volumes of gold from countries where it is not being minded – places in Europe and the Middle East – which begs the question: Why are gold refineries lying about the gold’s origination? Read more.

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