The fact that in a referendum Switzerland has taken a path that goes in the opposite direction from that of Europe is an unusual fact which calls for reflection, especially because Switzerland has taken a much more progressive path, while we all were accustomed to see it as a very conservative country.
A ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in relation to a Turkish national has kicked up a new row on anti-racism legislation.
Switzerland facilitated family reunification for Syrians in September. So far, more than 1,100 Syrian refugees have benefited from the programme, while thousands are waiting at Swiss embassies in the region, hoping for a similar chance. Surprised by these numbers, Switzerland put an end to the programme.
Swiss voters will decide Nov. 24 on introducing a salary cap that would limit the wage spread in companies to 1:12. The economic lobby is nervous - success for the proposal in the referendum is not as unrealistic as once expected.
A Swiss village has decided to reject tax money from the firm Glencore and to instead donate it to charities. Other towns may follow, sending a strong signal to the government to follow the U.S. and the EU and introduce transparency rules for the extractive industry.
Water power is the backbone of Alpine countries' energy supply. Despite its important role in Europe's energy shift, further development of hydroelectric infrastructure in Austria and Switzerland is on hold.
"The basic objective of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is people’s welfare, and I think that in this we have many affinities with what the Cuban government wants,” Regula Bäbler told IPS.
Struggling to accommodate all its asylum seekers, Swiss authorities have turned to unused army quarters. Some of these lie on mountain passes, far away from inhabited areas.
The powerful Swiss commodity sector is under fire here, as citizens fed up with government inaction on charges of corporate corruption, tax evasion and lack of transparency gear up for major protests.
For those who think that Occupy Wall Street, the Indignados in Spain, the World Social Forum and the numerous manifestations of protest worldwide are expressions without concrete outcomes, the result of the Swiss referendum on Mar. 3 on capping the salaries and bonuses of banks executives should make them think twice.
The Swiss government has presented a draft law regulating the private military industry but critics argue the law is toothless.
Swiss energy companies are determined to turn the country into a 'battery for Europe'. Vast investments are made in big-scale water power projects. But it is not certain they will eventually pay off.
Melting glaciers are the most visible effect of global warming in the Swiss Alps. Meanwhile, permafrost is invisible and melting too, often causing rockfall and massive debris flows, ultimately threatening mountain villages.