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Switzerland

Intel Switzerland

  • Activist on trial in Switzerland's second "climate trial"

    A 23-year-old climate activist has appeared before a Geneva court accused of vandalising the property of bank Crédit Suisse to protest its investments linked to fossil fuels. The verdict in this second Swiss “climate trial” is expected on Thursday.  The young man admitted daubing the façade of Crédit Suisse with hand prints in red paint, as did other members of his Breakfree group during a climate demonstration in October 2018. He said the aim was not to cause damage but draw attention to the harmful effects of Crédit Suisse actions on the environment. He claimed the paint was washable and expressed surprise at the sum of CHF2,250 ($2,293) demanded by Crédit Suisse for cleaning it up. Pleading for acquittal, the young man’s lawyer, Laila Batou, argued that the action was justified by the climate emergency. “It would be obscene to convict young people and let the banks destroy the planet,” she told the court. This comes after a district court in Lausanne last month acquitted …

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  • Car emissions rising due to imported guzzlers, says report 

    New cars imported into Switzerland have not been respecting the prescribed norms on CO2 emissions, with emission levels actually rising in 2017 and 2018, says a report published on Tuesday.   Nearly half of importers failed to meet compulsory targets in 2018, according to the Federal Office of the Environment’s report for parliament. Total sanctions ordered against them came to CHF31.7 million ($32.3 million) in 2018 compared with CHF12.6 million in 2015.    Regulations introduced in 2012 obliged importers into Switzerland to limit CO2 emissions to an average of 130g per km, as in the European Union. That norm was compulsory from 2015 to the end of 2019, and has now been reduced further to 95g of CO2 per km.    But between 2015 and 2019, the target was never met and even reached 137.8g per km in 2018, which was up 2.8% on the previous year.    The rise in emissions can be explained partly by an ever-increasing proportion of off-road vehicles and SUV models, plus an increase …

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  • Coronavirus forces postponing of Geneva inventions show

    The Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions, which was due to take place at the end of March, has been postponed by six months due to the coronavirus epidemic. “Nearly 50% of exhibitors come from the Asian continent, a third of which from China and a third from Hong Kong,” explained the organisers on Monday. Not wanting to take any risks, and facing the widespread difficulties of this large Asian contingent securing visas, they have postponed the event until September. “We cannot imagine opening an exhibition that does not represent the mission we have been pursuing for many years, namely being a platform of visibility for inventions from all over the world,” exhibition director Gaëlle Grosjean said. The exhibition has been running for almost half a century. At the 47th edition last year, some 800 exhibitors were present, as well as 31,000 visitors. The top prize went to a recyclable and pollution-free lithium car battery. Motoring ahead The Geneva Motor Show, a huge …

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  • Cryptocurrency gaining popularity among Swiss as an investment

    Cryptocurrencies as an investment class is becoming more popular among Swiss savers. Young people in particular are increasingly venturing into bitcoin and other digital money.   A survey conducted by the market research institute Intervista on behalf of Migros Bank revealed that 7% of savers between the ages of 18 and 55 possess cryptocurrencies in their portfolio. Among the youngest group of respondents (between 18 and 29 years), 13% said that bitcoins and other digital currencies will become even more important for them in the future.   In addition, 7% of those aged 30 to 55 plan to continue to invest in crypto currencies in the future.  Older investors are still wary of the new player on the block. In the group of respondents over 55 years of age, only 0.5 percent were betting on the long-term growth of digital money. Only one in a hundred savers in this age group own bitcoin or other digital currencies.  It is getting easier for bitcoin owners to spend their digital money …

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  • Smartwatches call time on the Swiss industry

    The watch industry has always displayed a strong streak of economic irrationality. After all, you can buy a Casio digital watch for £5 that will tell the time more reliably than a mechanical Patek Philippe Grand Complications costing 40,000 times as much. As the advertising slogan goes, every watch tells a story. And the story the watch industry tells is that millions of people will pay a massive premium for style over function. Or, as Ralph Lauren put it rather more poetically, a fine watch, like a well-designed car, is best appreciated as “moving art”. Still, economic irrationality has its limits. And the Apple Watch has been mercilessly exposing them by offering a radically different type of functionality and a very different kind of style. According to research firm Strategy Analytics, the Apple Watch, launched less than five years ago, now outsells the entire Swiss industry, which has been manufacturing wristwatches for 152 years. Last year, Apple increased sales by 36 …

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