Press Review for this Sunday, April 3, 2022

Byrne (awp/ats) – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its aftermath again made headlines on Sunday’s press. There is also talk of higher insurance premiums. Here is the basic information not confirmed by Keystone-ATS:

LE MATIN SUNDAY: Sickness premiums could increase by 7-9% this fall, according to le Matin Dimanche. This scenario is based on monitoring the costs of basic health insurance. According to this metric, spending increased in the second half of 2021. For the whole year, the growth was 5.1%. And the trend seems to continue. The pandemic is not enough to explain this growth. The lack of political progress in the management of health care costs also bears part of the responsibility. Most of the interlocutors interviewed by the newspaper believe that this scenario is not exaggerated. “It’s always difficult to release numbers at such an early date, but unfortunately a significant increase this fall is possible,” said National Council member Benjamin Rodwit (Center/VS). “A sudden increase is, unfortunately, likely,” says his colleague Pierre-Yves Maillard (PS/VD). And add: “We have two parliamentary sessions left to act.” Without commenting on the 7% to 9% range, a SantéSuisse spokesperson points out that the umbrella organization is “very concerned about the sharp increase in premiums in 2023.” Another umbrella insurer, Curafuura, is also expecting a relatively large increase in premiums.

NZZ AM SONNTAG/SONNTAGSBLICK: A search in Switzerland for the assets of sanctioned oligarchs has yielded new results. The cantons declared ten Confederate objects. These ten houses and apartments are located in four different cantons, according to the NZZ am Sonntag, which is based at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco). Geneva and Bern are concerned, but the Confederation does not want to say more. All reported buildings are now locked down, meaning they can no longer be sold or rented. SonntagsBlick reports less successful searches. To enforce the sanctions, Swiss Customs has taken a close look at its seven Swiss franc bonded warehouses and 174 open bonded warehouses. They undertook this search because many valuables were also in deposits in Swiss francs. According to customs, only one case has been identified.

SONNTAGSBLICK: The Swiss measures against Moscow prompted the steering committee of the National Council to react. She wants to study the legal basis of the Confederate sanctions regime and the alleged outrage against Russian economic actors, according to SonntagsBlick. Shortcomings in execution, as well as a “tangle of competencies” between the Confederation, cantons and departments, also raise questions. The investigation concerns not only the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), but also the Ministry of Economy (DEFR) and Finance (DFF).

LE MATIN SUNDAY/SONNTAGSBLICK: The Greens, PS and Vert’liberals want to end golden visas offered to wealthy foreigners, according to Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsBlick. In Switzerland, the cantons can grant residence permits to “protect basic public interests”, including “basic cantonal interests in terms of taxation”. According to the proposal of the project committee, which the newspapers have read, it is this possibility that the parties want to cancel. Between 2008 and 2019, 693 special permits were issued in Switzerland. The Russians were the first to worry until 2017, then the share of the Chinese increased. The cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Zug and Ticino are among those that have issued the most golden visas.

SONNTAGSBLICK: Migration expert Thomas Kessler thinks Switzerland could also benefit from accepting Ukrainian refugees. In the field of IT, Ukrainians are more advanced than Switzerland, he explains in SonntagsBlick. Moreover, in Ukraine it is quite normal that women study natural sciences, he continues. In addition, the fact that many women come with children will force Switzerland to “finally guarantee affordable child care,” he adds. With its kindergarten vouchers, the city of Bern has proved that this is not a problem. Now it is necessary that such models be quickly implemented in the rest of Switzerland, the expert emphasizes. According to him, Switzerland can easily accept a large number of refugees. There are many well-maintained multi-purpose halls and schools. They now need to be used creatively, he said, leaving them open after 5:00 pm and making them available on weekends to continue learning.

SONNTAGSZEITUNG: Medicine shortages threaten Switzerland. Drug supplies are certainly still secured “to a large extent” but “the market is under pressure,” according to SonntagsZeitung based on the latest report from the country’s Federal Office of Supply (OFAE). The situation is especially critical for antibiotics and oral opioids. OFAE has not yet linked the current drug supply difficulties to the war in Ukraine. But this may change. As the situation with painkillers and antibiotics is already tight in Switzerland, the increase in demand may be less offset. Many essentials, including medicines, were sent to Ukraine as donations from Switzerland, OFAE writes. According to the SonntagsZeitung, Switzerland is currently using mandatory emergency stockpiles for both numerous antibiotics and strong painkillers.

NZZ AM SONNTAG: In Switzerland, depositors lost more than 20 billion Swiss francs in a year due to rising inflation. According to NZZ am Sonntag, the purchasing power of their capital fell by that amount as annual inflation hit a multi-year high of 2.4% at the end of March. In fact, the purpose of the savings rate would be to compensate for this devaluation. However, he remained at zero. Thus, according to NZZ am Sonntag, the inflation-adjusted real interest rate is -2.4%. It has been 40 years since savers suffered such a loss in value.

NZZ AM SONNTAG/SONNTAGSZEITUNG/SONNTAGSBLICK: On June 4, 2.3 million Migros members will vote to sell alcohol in the group’s stores. Former Migros director Herbert Bolliger has assembled a small team of Migros retirees in recent weeks who want to prevent this from happening, according to NZZ am Sonntag and SonntagsBlick. A group that calls itself “Gruppe für die M-Werte” (M Value Group) is developing a campaign. Ads and website are currently under development. According to SonntagsZeitung, the Blue Cross addiction association called on Facebook and Twitter to take part in the vote and stop selling alcohol.

Note: This information has not been confirmed by the ATS.

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