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Swiss limit EU immigrants

Beginning on 1 June, Switzerland is limiting immigration from all EU states for a period of one year. Switzerland signed up to the bloc’s rules on freedom of movement in 1999, but the agreement included a “safeguard clause” allowing a cap on work permits if annual influx exceeds a certain number. A government statement said […]

Rebekka Bakken: Genuss Factor

Rebekka Bakken: Genuss Factor

Rebekka Bakken is enjoying a lovely spring day in one of her favorite places, the beautiful wine valleys of the Wachau. As she strolls up to a café by the Danube with friends, a bewildered old man spots this tall, radiant, uninhibited woman with long, flowing hair and large sunglasses as she walks by and […]

Civility and the Law

On Sunday, 23 September, the Swiss voted by a two-thirds majority against a total smoking ban, in some cantons over 70% against. Only in Geneva, with its high percentage of internationals, did a majority of 51.6% vote in favour. Like the Austrians, the Swiss seem to have opted for a complex solution that allows alternative […]

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

At 6:00 the Swiss mountain hamlet of Jeizinen is still cloaked under a blanket of morning fog, wisps rising from the steeply pitched roofs and concealing all movement in the Alpine meadows above the village. It’s “wolf-weather” according to the locals, an opportunity for the carnivores back in Switzerland, after a decade’s long hiatus, to […]

Referendum: Swiss vote ’no’

Referendum: Swiss vote ’no’

With a relatively high turnout of 37.8%, Swiss voters turned down a measure that would call for referendums concerning international treaties. The 17 June referendum had been called by the ultra-conservative Action for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland, in hopes that Swiss citizens would prefer greater direct democracy concerning international affairs. By an overwhelming majority […]

Tax deal with Switzerland

Tax deal with Switzerland

On Friday 13 April, Austria clinched a deal with Switzerland that will see Austrians’ secret accounts in the country taxed from 2013, Reuters reported. The agreement came as a relief to Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter, who had been criticised for pre-maturely including a €1 billion tax windfall from Swiss accounts in the government’s savings […]

Austrian Citizenship for Sale

Austrian Citizenship for Sale

Henley & Partners, a consultancy based in Zürich, advises wealthy clients on how to acquire Austrian citizenship by making strategic investments.  Under Article 10 of the Austrian Citizenship Act, the government can reward foreign nationals with Austrian citizenship in the event of extraordinary merit.   Austria for Sale, 15 Mar. by Christoph Zotter  “Compared to […]

Too Hot for Comfort

As insecurity reigns on global financial markets, and debt crises grip Europe and the United States, the Swiss franc (CHF) has become a lifeboat for investors looking for sound bonds. But as currency traders swim to safety, they are kicking off waves that leave others struggling. The resulting hike in the franc’s value – which […]

Fools on Parade

11:12 – The journey from Lugano to Zürich rolls us smoothly through the majestic tranquility of the Swiss Alps. Usually, this two and a half hour train ride is memorably relaxing. This time, a niggling sense of nervous anticipation stirs inside me, as I realize we’re on our way to the Street Parade. We are […]

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