The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Sunday, March 3rd – Weekly Round-Up

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 3 March 2024

Swiss milk industry’s call for a 3 centime increase per liter sparks debate, amidst falling farm numbers, tractor registrations surge, while crimes by asylum seekers and the CS takeover legal dismissals draw attention.

Sunday, March 3rd – Weekly Round-Up
Keystone/SDA – PETER SCHNEIDER

Debates about prices and tractors in the wake of the farmers’ protests, crimes committed by asylum seekers, and dismissed lawsuits following the CS takeover. The headlines in unverified reports:

SonntagsBlick / Le Matin Dimanche:

The increase of 3 centimes per liter of milk demanded by the milk industry organization would cost taxpayers 50 to 60 million francs a year.

This is what Minister of Economic Affairs Guy Parmelin told SonntagsBlick. A short-term increase in the allowance is not legally possible. Parliament would have to decide on an increase.

As Le Matin Dimanche wrote, a recently submitted parliamentary initiative calls for minimum prices in agriculture if buyers and producers cannot agree on target prices.

NZZ am Sonntag:

Despite the falling number of Swiss farms, the number of tractors has risen. In 2023, over 147,000 tractors were registered across Switzerland, as the NZZ am Sonntag wrote based on federal statistics.

That would be more than three tractors per farm in purely mathematical terms. The number of large tractors has also increased: in 1990, there were 23 tractors with a registered total weight of over ten tons in Switzerland. Today, there are 7712 such tractors.

Small farms, in particular, have invested too much in heavy machinery and are suffering from a high debt burden, according to a Federal Council report published on Friday.

NZZ am Sonntag:

According to the head of security, Karin Kayser-Frutschi, crimes committed by asylum seekers from the Maghreb have increased throughout Switzerland.

She called on the federal government to speed up the processing of pending asylum applications, as the NZZ am Sonntag wrote. The offenses led to uncertainty among the population, which threatened the acceptance of the asylum system and internal security.

The co-president of the Conference of Cantonal Justice and Police Directors said that a stay in pre-trial detention would not disturb the offenders. The crime statistics for 2023 will be published in March.

SonntagsZeitung:

Due to technicalities, the Federal Administrative Court has denied several complainants in connection with the takeover of Credit Suisse. In one plaintiff’s case, the court rejected the claim due to an outstanding five francs, as the SonntagsZeitung wrote.

The plaintiff wanted to defend himself against the write-off of bonds worth CHF 16 billion. According to the newspaper, the court set tight deadlines in this matter, after which legal action was no longer possible. However, it had granted UBS an extension for its response.

SonntagsBlick:

An internal audit report has criticized the inadequate response to hacker attacks and the lack of internal coordination in the Department of Defence (DDPS).

According to “SonntagsBlick,” reports on security-related incidents were sometimes unprocessed for weeks. According to the report, the number of cyberattacks has almost doubled in the last two years.

In response to the revision, Defense Minister Viola Amherd called for a better quality of reports and data, among other things.

NZZ am Sonntag:

The hands of the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) are tied when it comes to disinformation campaigns from Russia. An FIS spokeswoman told the NZZ am Sonntag that the FIS is usually not allowed to follow up on indications of influence by foreign actors in Switzerland.

Information that is not related to the area of responsibility is destroyed. According to the newspaper, more and more politicians are calling for the federal government to play a more active role in combating disinformation. However, regulation cannot curb freedom of expression and the right to lie, said Stephanie Volz from the University of Zurich.

SonntagsZeitung / Le Matin Dimanche:

The members of the Swisslos Executive Board recently received a higher salary than some members of cantonal governments. The seven members of the lottery company’s Executive Board received a gross compensation of CHF 2.11 million in 2022. In other words, an average of over 301,400 francs, as the SonntagsZeitung wrote.

It can be assumed that Director Roger Fasnacht receives the highest salary. The German-speaking cantons of Switzerland and Ticino wholly own Swisslos. According to the newspaper, Geneva is the most generous canton towards its government. A member of the cantonal government there receives 355,000 francs a year.

SonntagsBlick:

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has brought charges against a Swiss-Russian citizen. He is alleged to have helped Viktor Vekselberg, a well-known investor in Switzerland, to circumvent US sanctions, according to SonntagsBlick.

Vekselberg’s confidant lived in the Zurich municipality of Herrliberg. He has since gone into hiding. He resigned from a Zurich real estate company immediately after the FBI published the arrest warrant. He announced via the company that he firmly rejected all accusations. The Swiss judiciary has not yet dealt with the case.

SonntagsZeitung:

The head of Ringier Switzerland, Ladina Heimgartner, does not want to become SRG director. The 44-year-old told the SonntagsZeitung that she had seriously considered applying. Before moving to Ringier, the Grisons native was Deputy Director General at SRG and Head of Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha (RTR).

According to Heimgartner, the upcoming halving initiative and the compensation did not play a role in her decision. According to reports, as the newspaper wrote, she earns more at Ringier than the outgoing SRG boss, Gilles Marchand, whose salary is around CHF 514,000. The official application deadline for the SRG directorate runs until Tuesday.

©Keystone/SDA

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