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  • Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:02:00 +0000: A push for gender equality in Switzerland - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Rona Bolliger argues that although Sunday's parliamentary elections show slow-but-steady progress on women's equality, the pace of change must increase because women are needed in the workforce. How do Swiss women juggle a family and a career? With difficulty.  “You cannot have everything: three children, a seat on the board and a career,” declared Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter recently.  She also claimed that “specific structures need to be established, otherwise it will not be possible for working mothers to pursue a career”.  In the year of the women’s strike, Switzerland seems to be ready for the next push concerning gender equality. On Sunday, Switzerland elected its national parliament and the results should give us reason for hope. The parliament has not only become much greener, it has also become more female. Women now make up 42% in the national council, while in 2015 only 32% of MPs were female. With parties strongly supporting gender equality now ...
  • Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:58:00 +0000: How global warming and young voters swung the Swiss elections - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Young, highly-qualified voters in urban regions are behind the spectacular surge of Green parties in Sunday’s elections to the Swiss parliament, according to researchers.  An opinion poll published by the Sotomo research institute has found that the Green Party and the smaller Liberal Green Party were the most successful in mobilising their grassroots and winning over new voters.  The gains for the two political groups came primarily at the expense of the Social Democrats and were contrasted by a striking level of voter apathy among supporters of the Swiss People’s Party.  Sotomo director Michael Hermann says that climate change has dominated the elections this year, unlike for the 2015 elections, when the main issue was immigration and relations with the European Union.  “Many People’s Party supporters said they stayed away in protest at parliament’s refusal to implement immigration curbs approved by voters,” Hermann told journalists from the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation ...
  • Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:00:00 +0000: Swiss in Denver: Making sausages is in his blood - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Born in Zurich, Eric Gutknecht came to the US with his parents when he was a little boy. Today he runs a sausage factory in Colorado. Gutknecht did two charcuterie-making apprenticeships in Switzerland. His professional experience includes teaching economics and working as a business analyst. In 2003, he and his wife, Jessica, took over the family sausage business in Denver. Today, CharcūtNuvo provides grocery stores and Swiss clubs all over the United States with traditional Swiss-style Bratwursts as well as more unusual varieties, like chicken-spinach and mac-n-cheese. The factory uses European production techniques and even some Swiss equipment. “We try to get our supplies from within a 500-mile radius,” says Gutknecht, adding that the meat, which comes from smaller farms, is not treated with antibiotics or hormones. “The challenge is getting it fresh. Sometimes we have to buy frozen.” The award-winning company has also launched an organic line. “I miss Swiss things like ...
  • Tue, 22 Oct 2019 09:00:00 +0000: How Swiss investors are reacting to climate activism - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Amid numerous alarming environmental reports, the call for action to address climate change has never been so loud. Is the Swiss financial sector stepping up to the plate?  For small farmers living in southern Ghana, receiving accurate weather reports is critical. Planting seeds at the wrong time could mean seeing them washed away together with fertilisers. Ignitia is a growth-stage company that delivers clear meteorological information to West African farmers via mobile phones for a low rate, based on their precise geographical position.  The company is looking to grow, so its CEO was in Geneva recently to pitch to investors at the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Finance Geneva Summit, organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), one of dozens of meetings taking place here during a week dedicated to sustainable finance. Ignitia’s CEO and founder Liisa Smits says that by the end of the gathering, several Swiss investors had approached her, expressing interest ...
  • Tue, 22 Oct 2019 08:43:00 +0000: Are the Greens a sustainable wave? - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Political analyst Daniel Warner puts the “Green wave” dominating the Swiss election into perspective. The “Green Wave” in the recent Swiss elections is most impressive. Together with the Liberal Greens, they have enough backing to potentially ask for a seat on the Federal Council (government), upsetting the Magic Formula dividing the seven executive seats on the Council among the traditional four ruling parties that has been in effect since 1959. A most impressive wave. But, like all waves, the question is how sustainable it will be. Looking to the United States as a reference since it is the forerunner of Swiss federalism: does anyone remember Jill Stein? In case you’ve forgotten, she was the Green Party's nominee for president of the United States in the 2012 and 2016 elections and candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010. In 2016, she was considered an alternative to mainstream candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Stein received 1% of the national ...
  • Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:16:00 +0000: The 2019 Swiss elections: Results in detail - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Abbreviations used: BDP - Conservative Democratic Party; CSP - Christian Social Party of Switzerland; CVP - Christian Democratic Party; EVP - Protestant Party; FDP - Radical Liberal Party; GLP - Liberal Green Party; Greens - Green Party; Lega - Lega dei Ticinesi; MCG – Geneva Citizens‘ Movement; PdA – Communist Party; SP - Social Democratic Party; SVP - Swiss People's Party. other - all remaining parties.
  • Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:04:00 +0000: Swiss abroad voted differently – but many could not  - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Swiss citizens abroad had the right to take part in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, but many could not. Their frustration is palpable, as swissinfo.ch reader comments and social media reactions reveal.  The right to vote theoretically belongs to all Swiss people. In reality, many Swiss voters did not get their ballot box in time.  The situation was particularly bad this year because several cantons did away with e-voting in response to public concerns over the security of voting online.   The dilemma is that the credibility of Swiss democracy suffers one way or another.   To get a better picture of the scale of the problem, we are asking our Swiss abroad readers to share their experiences. Did the ballot papers reach you in time? We asked for as much feedback as possible to get a sense of which countries faced more problems and where the process went smoothly.  The effects of scrapping e-voting  The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) evaluated the participation rate of ...
  • Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:20:00 +0000: What lies ahead for Switzerland after the vote? - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    ​​​​​​​ The votes have been cast and the results are in. Green, female and progressive were the headlines from this election. What does this historic vote mean for Switzerland going forward? 1.  Demand for more responsibility on the environment The big gains by the Green Party and the Liberal Greens showed that many Swiss citizens want politics to go beyond their own backyard. “Now, suddenly, a new force is coming into play that has a strong voter mandate on climate,” said Green Party president Regula Rytz in an interview with online magazine Watson. The key message this sends is that Switzerland must open up internationally and play a stronger role in tackling the climate crisis. The global nature and scale of the threat means that Switzerland has a duty. It is a small country, but it has a lot to contribute in terms of knowledge and technologies and above all, sufficient resources to develop solutions. For Switzerland, there is now a mandate to become a role model, a ...
  • Mon, 21 Oct 2019 07:33:00 +0000: Why this Swiss election will go down in the history books - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    From massive shifts in party power to a record proportion of women, here are the reasons why Sunday’s Swiss parliamentary elections can be called historic. A party has never won as many additional seats in an election as the left-wing Greens did on Sunday, with 17. The previous record was 15, set by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party in 1999. The People’s Party lost 12 seats on Sunday, also a record – it’s the worst defeat in the history of the Swiss elections. Sunday was the first time that so many seats - 58 - changed parties. In 2015, for example, only 30 seats changed. According to political analyst Claude Longchamp, following climate demonstrations and the historic women's strike in June, the Swiss party landscape is more volatile than ever before. In another first, 84 women were elected to the House of Representatives yesterday, bringing the proportion of women in the largest parliamentary chamber to a record 42%. Switzerland now has the 15th-highest proportion of ...
  • Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:38:00 +0000: Swiss elections: ‘Green tsunami’ engulfs newspapers - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    ​​​​​​​“Green flood”, “fresh, green and feminine wind” – Swiss frontpages and metaphors were only one colour on Monday, the day after eco-parties were clear winners in parliamentary elections. But the papers were less decided on whether the Greens now had an automatic right to a seat in cabinet.  “In Switzerland, the most stable country in the universe, a 6% increase, not counting that of the Liberal Greens, is almost a regime change,” declared the Tribune de Genève.  Sunday’s parliamentary elections saw all political parties lose their share of the vote apart from the Greens (+5.9 percentage points), the Liberal Greens (+3.3) and the Protestant Party (+0.3).  “The mobilisation in favour of the climate of recent months is shaking up the federal parliament and infusing it with a good dose of ecology,” said Le Temps in Lausanne.  “Environmentalists, on both the left and the right, are imposing themselves as never before in institutions renowned for their stability.”  The Tribune ...
  • Sun, 20 Oct 2019 21:37:00 +0000: Swiss elections: Landslide Green gains tip parliament to the left - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Green parties have made historic gains at the expense of those to the right and the left in elections to the Swiss parliament. Final results show the left-wing Green Party winning 13% of the vote for the House of Representatives – up nearly 6% on 2015 and their best result ever. The centrist Liberal Greens also increased their share of the vote to 7.9% from 4.6%. The right-wing People's Party remains the largest group in the House ahead of the left-wing Social Democrats. Overall, the left and the centre have gained ground, prompting speculation about a reshuffle of the multi-party government. "People want a more environmentally-friendly policy and the result of the vote should also be reflected in the government," said Green Party president, Regula Rytz, on Sunday.  The seven-member executive is currently made up of members of the main four parties, but not the Greens. Historic moment "The spectacular gains for the Greens are a real surprise, particularly in the ...
  • Sun, 20 Oct 2019 20:59:22 +0000: What are the party presidents' expectations? - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    The presidents of the major Swiss parties give their views on the opportunities that a new parliament presents. For some it's a chance to work together, for others it's time to tackle long-standing issues. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
  • Sun, 20 Oct 2019 18:56:00 +0000: Will the Greens go for a government seat? - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Regula Rytz is president of the Swiss Green Party, which made historic gains in the parliamentary elections on October 20. Those gains beg the question: should her party vie for a seat on the seven-member government? (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
  • Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:00:00 +0000: Forged banknotes, launched newspapers and grounded planes - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Almost every article published by swissinfo.ch contains a percentage, an age, an amount of money or some other figure. Here’s a round-up of some of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories. Monday 60 Tabloid Blick, Switzerland’s best-selling newspaper, blew out 60 candles. The flames were a bit higher, however, when it was launched: some middle-class groups in Zurich held Blick-burning sessions.  Tuesday 29 The number of Airbus A220 jets that Swiss International Air Lines grounded (its entire fleet) after another technical problem. Several flights were cancelled, but the planes were flying again a few days later.  Wednesday 4,000 There are more than 4,000 premature deaths a year in Switzerland due to air pollution: 3,700 attributable to particulate matter (PM), 620 to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 240 to ozone (O3).  Thursday 500,000 The 500,000th owner of the GA travelcard – which gives free travel on a route network spanning more than 160 ...
  • Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:00:00 +0000: Scuol’s out: opening a nightclub in an isolated Swiss town - Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Before Juliane and Nici opened Cult, young people in the eastern Swiss town of Scuol had to drive for miles – even across the border into Austria – for a bit of fun.  “Scuol was a ghost town in terms of nightlife,” Juliane admits. As a result, local youngsters organised a petition saying there needed to be somewhere in Romansh-speaking Scuol where young people could meet and dance or just have a few drinks with friends. Parents were also supportive as the risk of drink-driving was reduced.  On a limited budget, the two created from scratch the wildly successful Cult, which is not just a bar and nightclub but also a platform for various cultural events. They say everything's going really well and they've received a lot of positive feedback, although they wish people would dial back the rock’n’roll behaviour and stop breaking doors and loos.  “I have to say that I was really surprised at how much vandalism we were constantly getting in the club, right from the beginning,” Juliane ...