Sunday, April 21st: The Weekly Roundup

Sunday, April 21st: The Weekly Roundup

Sun, Apr 21st 2024

A letter from President Viola Amherd to Moscow, top salaries for chief physicians in Swiss hospitals and the purity of mineral water in pet bottles: This and more can be found in the Sunday newspapers. The headlines in unverified reports:

KEYSTONE/Ennio Leanza

SonntagsBlick: Amherd to Russia

President Viola Amherd has written a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election in March. In the text, Amherd explains Switzerland’s position, respect for international law, human rights and the universal principles enshrined in the UN Charter; the pursuit of peace and prosperity.

The letter also contains messages of condolence for the victims of the terrorist attack in Moscow on March 22 and for the victims of the floods in several regions of Russia. The Ukraine peace conference is due to take place on the Bürgenstock in mid-June. According to Russia, it will not be attending.

SonntagsBlick: Keeping the Swiss Constitution Swiss

According to co-founder Urs Wietlisbach, Kompass Europa is working on a popular initiative that aims to enshrine in the constitution that Swiss jurisdiction may not be outsourced abroad. “It is unacceptable for a Federal Council to outsource Swiss legislation,” said Wietlisbach in an interview with SonntagsBlick.

Switzerland must not subject itself to other laws when it comes to foreign economic policy, as this would undermine its quality as a business location.

According to Wietlisbach, work on the initiative text should be completed next fall. Compass Europe has over 1,500 members and its following is growing, Wietlisbach said in response to the objection that his movement does not have the power of a people’s party.

SonntagsZeitung: Doctors Paid Exorbitantly

Top salaries for hospital chief physicians are a burden on budgets and contribute to the rise in premiums, as reported by the SonntagsZeitung newspaper. It cites the canton of Bern, where hospitals with a cantonal service agreement must disclose the salaries of chief physicians.

According to the report, six doctors in the canton of Bern earned between 600,000 and 700,000 francs in 2022, two earned over 700,000 francs and at least one earned more than one million francs.

Across Switzerland, the combined salaries of all hospital doctors amounted to CHF 4.3 billion – not including the fees of attending physicians. Health economist Heinz Locher confirms that “according to reports, quite a few of them earn significantly more than 1 million francs”. Such remuneration is “inappropriate”.

SonntagsZeitung: More Swiss Defences Coming

Switzerland would be poorly armed against an attack with missiles and drones. This is the opinion of Albert A. Stahel, Professor Emeritus of Military Strategy at the University of Zurich. “We would not be able to withstand a massive attack with drones, cruise missiles and fighter aircraft for long,” he was quoted as saying.

According to the newspaper, an improvement is in sight when the first of the F-35 fighter jets ordered and the Patriot system, which can defend against short-range missiles, will be deployed from 2028.

SonntagsZeitung: Finma Have Done All They Can Do?

The financial market supervisory authority Finma has not exhausted its leeway in the Credit Suisse liquidity crisis and has taken action. The “SonntagsZeitung” writes this based on the 339-page “Too big to fail” report published ten days ago by the Federal Council on the CS debacle, which ended in the forced merger with UBS. The newspaper thus contradicts statements made by FINMA President Marlene Amstad.

NZZ am Sonntag: Bottled Water Taste

If mineral water is bottled in a Pet bottle, it can no longer be called mineral water because Pet can change the taste of the water. Matthias Beckmann, cantonal chemist in Graubünden, is quoted by the “NZZ am Sonntag” newspaper as saying this. He inspects sources such as those from Valser or Elmer.

The change in taste in the pet bottle is unpleasant, but legal. The Association of Swiss Mineral Springs and Soft Drink Producers (SMS) replies that small amounts of chemicals could get into the water if it is not stored properly.

NZZ am Sonntag: Bitcoin Reserves

Bitcoin should become part of the Swiss currency reserve: A group led by Yves Bennaïm from French-speaking Switzerland is planning a popular initiative with this demand, according to the “NZZ am Sonntag”.

The text of the initiative does not specify how high the proportion of Bitcoin in the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) currency reserve should be. The primary aim is to initiate a debate, Bennaïm was quoted as saying.

According to the report, preparations for the committee are currently underway and the documents for the submission of the petition are being prepared. Two years ago, SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan ruled that Bitcoin did not meet the requirements for currency reserves. The SNB did not comment to the newspaper on whether this ruling still applies.

Le Matin Dimanche: 1000 Swiss Earthquakes in JU

The region around Réclère JU in the district of Pruntrut is now the most earthquake-prone region in Switzerland, as reported by the French-speaking Swiss newspaper “Le Matin Dimanche”. “In the last three years, around 1,000 quakes have been recorded in this region,” Philippe Roth from the Swiss Seismological Service at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) explained to the newspaper.

In such cases, one speaks of an earthquake swarm. The phenomenon can extend over ten years, the expert adds. The area is now being closely examined. Three additional observation stations have been installed near the epicenters. Two faults have been localised on the basis of the data. The first produces the strongest earthquakes. The second is more active than the first, but the quakes there are weaker.

Le Matin Dimanche: Swiss Scam Calls Continue

Despite the revised Telecommunications Act, which has been in force since the beginning of 2021, there are still numerous unwanted phone calls and telephone scams in Switzerland. This is reported by the French-speaking Swiss newspaper “Le Matin Dimanche”.

The new law states that unsolicited commercial calls are illegal if a person’s name is not in the telephone directory or is marked with an asterisk. The latest wave of unsolicited calls is carried by computer-generated numbers that always use a cantonal prefix – for example 021, 022, 026, 027. After that, all numbers begin with 589. The last four digits are randomly generated.


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