Sommaruga renews call for action on climate change
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, said in June that climate protection and nature conservation need to “return to the very top” of the political agenda. We should not forget the climate crisis because of COVID-19, she said. It’s essential that we “make the right calls now” – not only for our sake but, more importantly, for the sake of future generations.
Parliament votes in favour of a climate tax on airline tickets
Flying is about to get more expensive after parliament voted in June to introduce a tax on airline tickets. Tickets will be 30 to 120 francs dearer depending on class and distance of travel. This is a green incentive tax: non-flyers will benefit, because more than half of the revenue from the new levy will be redistributed to the public. A new climate fund will also be created. Parliament had been firmly opposed to an airline ticket tax before the elections in autumn 2019; the June decision is symptomatic of a change in the political climate.
Possible boost for PostFinance from the Federal Council
PostFinance is one of Switzerland’s most important financial providers. However, the fully state-owned company is not permitted to issue loans. This is making it increasingly hard for PostFinance to generate profits. The Federal Council now want PostFinance to be part-privatised and allowed access to the credit and mortgage market, subject to certain restrictions. No final decision has been taken. Political parties and all the relevant stakeholders have until September 2020 to comment on the government’s proposal.
“Marriage for all” bill clears important political hurdle
Same-sex couples in Switzerland should be able to marry, the National Council has decided. Around seven years since the proposal relating to same-sex marriage was brought to parliament, the house’s decision in June turned out to be surprisingly clear-cut. The National Council also voted to approve controversial sperm donations for lesbian couples, thus adopting a more socially liberal stance than before the 2019 elections.
Who left the gold in the train?
Were you in Switzerland in October 2019 by any chance? If so, did you accidentally leave a package full of gold bars on a train travelling between St. Gallen and Lucerne? For the Lucerne police, the question of who owns the gold, worth around 180,000 francs, has been a mystery for months. The rightful owner has not yet been found, which is why the authorities have now made a public appeal.