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Switzerland

Intel Switzerland

  • ‘Get out of my space’ – and other numbers

    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. Tuesday 80 How to survive in the Swiss workplace? We asked two etiquette experts for their take on office rules. Apparently, you should allow 80 centimetres of personal space when greeting someone for the first time. Wednesday 800 Swiss human rights activist Anni Lanz lost an appeal against an CHF800 fine for helping a rejected Afghan asylum seeker return from Italy to Switzerland. A fresh appeal may be on the cards. Wednesday 1,500 This is the number of people from 60 countries who attended the international vocational skills competition, WorldSkills, in Russia starting this week. Switzerland is sending 41 apprentices to the annual event.  Thursday 101 The number of private banks in Switzerland has declined from 163 in 2010 to 101 this year. A study …

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  • Increase in train drivers missing red lights

    Train drivers on average ran through almost one red light a day, according to statistics quoted in SonntagsZeitung. That’s a new record, the newspaper says. In 2018, train drivers missed red lights or other signals 363 times, according to Federal Office of Transport statistics. In comparison, the number amounted to 224 in 2010, the first year these kind of statistics were published. In all, 108 people have been injured as a result of lights and signals incidents since 2010, 15 of them seriously. In 2013, one person died in a head-on collision with another train in Granges-Marnand, after a train driver missed a signal. + Train driver found guilty of negligence in 2013 crash Damage caused over the past nine years is estimated at CHF56 million ($57.5 million). The most common cause of running red lights and other signals is driver inattention, the newspaper reports. “There is more pressure on train drivers at work,” the president of the Swiss Association of Locomotive …

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  • Media questions EFTA deal timing

    “Playing with fire,” is the verdict of the Swiss press, in reaction to the free trade deal largely agreed between EFTA countries – among them Switzerland – and the Mercosur bloc, that includes Brazil. Questions have been raised over the timing of the agreement. It comes as Brazil led by strongman president Jair Bolsonaro, faces heavy international criticism, particularly from the European Union, of its handling of the Amazon rainforest fires.  Bolsonaro has now sent in the army to tackle the blazes. + Read more about the details of the EFTA deal, as announced on Saturday Should Switzerland even conclude agreements with such governments, wonders the NZZ am Sonntag in its leader. On the one hand, a small, open economy it needs free trade deals. But it should also use the ratification process – which is expected to conclude in 2021 – to put pressure on Brazil. “And [Switzerland] should not let Jair Bolsonaro play it off against the EU,” wrote Luzi Bernet. The EU, of which …

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  • Media’s coverage of women politicians ‘not sexist’

    The Swiss media’s reporting of female politicians is surprisingly well balanced, a study has found. Hairstyles and looks – so often in the past a cause of comment – were rarely a target. Researchers at the University of Zurich under Lucas Leemann at the Department of Political Science looked at how male and female politicians were portrayed in around 1.8 million German-speaking articles from 80 newspapers and magazines over the period of 2012-2018. The results, which were published in the Tamedia press on Saturday, found fewer gender differences than expected, the researchers said. Women were cited almost as often as their male colleagues (in proportion to the number of parliamentary seats held). Leuthard effect Top of the list was the popular former transport minister Doris Leuthard, who got more than 62,000 mentions. Second was rightwing Swiss People’s Party strongman Christoph Blocher, also a former cabinet minister. + A look back at Doris Leuthard’s career + A glimpse …

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  • Swiss release more details over EFTA - Mercosur deal

    Switzerland says EFTA countries have secured a deal “in substance” with the south American common market Mercosur. Around 95% of Swiss exports to the region will be exempt from tariffs. The deal, which still has to be ratified, was flagged up by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Twitter on Friday evening. EFTA member Switzerland confirmed the move on the same evening, but details of the agreement were only released on Saturday afternoon. Swiss Economics Minister Guy Parmelin said in a press conference that the deal between EFTA (the European free trade group formed by Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) was an “important milestone” in further extending Switzerland’s trade network. “Swiss exporters need a reliable framework in order to assert themselves in the turbulent world markets,” he said. Switzerland had paid special attention to agricultural products as well as intellectual property issues, added Parmelin.

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