When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

TOPIC: switzerland

Economy

Why More Countries Are Banning Foreigners From Buying Real Estate

Canada has become the most recent country to impose restrictions on non-residents buying real estate, arguing that wealthy investors from other countries are pricing out would-be local homeowners. But is singling out foreigners the best way to face a troubled housing market?

PARIS — It’s easy to forget that soon after the outbreak of COVID-19, many real estate experts were forecasting that housing prices could face a once-in-generation drop. The logic was that a shrinking pandemic economy would combine with people moving out of cities to push costs down in a lasting way.

Ultimately, in most places, the opposite has happened. Home prices in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand rose between 25% and 50% since the outbreak of COVID-19.

This explosion was driven by a number of factors, including low interest rates, supply chain issues in construction and shortages in available properties caused in part by investors buying up large swathes of housing stock.

Yet some see another culprit deserving of particular attention: foreign buyers.

Watch Video Show less

Davos, The Slow Melt Into Irrelevance

The Davos Forum was once a true shaper of our collective future in a globalized world. Today it is beyond its expiry date, even if global solutions to global problems are needed more than ever.

-Analysis-

PARIS — For almost three decades now, perched in the Swiss Alps, has been the sunny face of a globalization that works.

It was the place, in the 1990s, where I understood for the first time the impact of the digital revolution. Davos was a place where one could meet Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk or Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres, up close, and far away from South Africa or the Middle East.

It was also there that the new democracies of Eastern Europe took their first steps into the free-market economy and where emerging countries could be paired up with international investors.

This era, we must say, is now truly over. The dream-like world of Davos, the world of the free flow of goods and capital, the world of globally integrated supply chains, and technology designed for the common good, has run into perils it did not or could not predict.

Keep reading... Show less

This Happened—November 19: Reagan And Gorbachev On Neutral Territory

In order to begin to alleviate decades of tension between the U.S. and Soviet Union, Switzerland hosted the Geneva Summit of 1985 where American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev would begin to lead the world out of the Cold War

Sign up to receive This Happened straight to your inbox each day!

Keep reading... Show less

After Iran, North Korea Accused Of Secretly Supplying Russia With Arms

Moscow has been forced to turn to rogue regimes for military supplies for its stalled invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. officials have accused North Korea of secretly supplying shipments of ammunition to Russia. According to newly declassified intelligence, quoted by CNN, the regime in Pyongyang was trying to hide the shipments by making it appear as though the ammunition was being sent to the Middle East or North Africa.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

U.S. intelligence had earlier reported that Russia was purchasing rockets and artillery shells from North Korea to use in Ukraine.

Keep reading... Show less
In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

U.S.-Russia Prisoner Swap, Earth Overshoot Day, Meta Drop

👋 Ćao!*

Welcome to Thursday, where the White House and the Kremlin discuss a prisoner swap, Earth Overshoot Day tells us we keep living beyond our Earth’s means, and Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta takes a $2.8-billion dip. Meanwhile, Eleonora Camilli in Italian magazine L’Essenziale focuses on how the children of immigrants are seeking a new path to obtain Italian citizenship.

[*Montenegrin]

Watch Video Show less
Geopolitics
Clemens Wergin

Ukraine's Wounded v. Russian Bank Accounts? Why Swiss "Neutrality" Is Pure Hypocrisy

Switzerland has rejected a NATO request to take in injured Ukrainian soldiers, arguing it would compromise its neutrality. This is an old game of masking moral cowardice by a country that has profited off the Putin regime.

-OpEd-

BERLIN — In recent weeks, NATO sent out a request to members and partners asking them to take in wounded Ukrainians for treatment. Its partner country Switzerland declined the request. It said it did not want to treat wounded soldiers because they might return to the war. This, they said, would endanger Switzerland's neutrality, the famous core principle of Swiss foreign policy.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

But they also don't want to take in wounded civilians for treatment. Because it is "almost impossible to distinguish civilians from soldiers," as Swiss diplomat and politician Johannes Matyassy explained.

Watch Video Show less
LE MATIN
Anne Sophie Goninet

A Swiss Thief With A Fondue Fork Tries To Dip Into Till At Funeral Home

Switzerland is famous for its fondue, a national specialty that is eaten by dipping bread into melted cheese, using uniquely shaped long-stemmed forks. Now a 60-year old Swiss man has found a rather unexpected use for his fondue fork, reaching with the length of the utensil and its sharp prongs to steal envelopes containing condolence cards from boxes in funeral parlors. He managed to fork 17 envelopes in three different funeral homes in the towns of Delémont, Bassecourt and Porrentruy, reports Swiss daily Le Matin. The thief, who later admitted that he was hoping to find money left in the cards by mourners to the deceased's family, was eventually caught by an undertaker last April.

It is unclear whether the man actually found money, as no banknote was recovered by the police in his house, but in July, a court ruled his "motives were financial" and condemned him to a fine of 600 Swiss francs ($663) plus 570 CHF to cover fees, for theft, property damage, disorder of funeral service by inappropriate behavior and for undermining the peace of the deceased.

Watch Video Show less
Switzerland

Bertrand Piccard: Profits And Saving The Planet Go Together

Five Questions for the legendary pilot, environmental activist and founder of Solar Impulse Foundation, supporting solutions that are profitable and protect the planet.

In partnership with: ChangeNOW

Environmentalist, Psychiatrist, Aviator, Explorer, Entrepreneur. Bertrand Piccard's many hats have made him a pioneer and leading voice on the themes of innovation, clean technologies and sustainability. He is the first person to complete a non-stop balloon flight around the globe, as well as the co-pilot of the maiden around-the-world flight in a solar-powered airplane.

Founder and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation, the Lausanne-born 63-year-old has made it his mission to select 1000 solutions to protect the environment in a profitable way. He is currently United Nations Ambassador for the Environment and Special Advisor to the European Commission.

Ahead of the 2021 changeNOW summit, the world's largest gathering of innovations for the planet, where he will be sharing his vision and pioneering spirit, we asked Bertrand Piccard 5 questions about building a smarter future.

Watch Video Show less
Switzerland
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

Spring Rolls Sprung At Swiss Border Crossing

Drugs, weapons and... spring rolls? Add the Asian fried staple to the list of contraband items that have been seized in the illegal international smuggling market.

Police discovered 61.5 kilograms (136 lbs) of chicken spring rolls stashed in a car trunk during a control at a France-Switzerland border crossing on Feb. 16. The driver, a Vietnamese national, and the passenger, a French national, were returning to Switzerland where they own a restaurant. But they did not declare the rolls to the Swiss administration at Ferney-Voltaire.

Watch Video Show less
Switzerland
Irene Caselli

Switzerland's 'Contract Children' - Abused, Exploited, Forgotten

A report turns much-needed attention to a dark and long-ignored chapter in Swiss history.

In Switzerland, well into the 1970s, children of unmarried mothers or from poor families were taken away from their parents and sent to live with new ones. They were placed in new homes, especially on farms, where they were made to work.

In many cases, they were exploited, beaten and abused at the hands of those who were meant to look after them. And yet attacks were rarely investigated, not least because foster families were barely controlled by the authorities.

Watch Video Show less
Switzerland
Ayaz Ali

When China Went To Davos: Those Chilly Winds Of Global Capitalism

-Analysis-

Two years ago Chinese President Xi Jinping — in the wake of the twin election victories of Brexit and Donald Trump — arrived at the Davos World Economic Forum as the would-be savior of international free trade. "We should adapt to and guide globalization, cushion its negative impact, and deliver its benefits to all countries and all nations," he declared in a landmark speech. Last year it was Chinese Vice Premier Liu He's turn at the Swiss ski resort, boldly claiming that within three years Chinese debt would be assuaged and the nation would be able to comfortably withstand a trade war with the U.S. As the 49th World Economic Forum opens today, China is again center stage, but the storyline is shifting, following reports that Chinese growth is at its lowest rate in nearly 30 years.

Watch Video Show less
BBC
Martin Greenacre

Just A Handshake? Touchy Subject For Pious Muslims In The West

A series of recent legal cases across Europe have questioned whether those who refuse to shake hands with people of the opposite sex for religious reasons are guilty of discrimination.

PARIS — The traditional Muslim veil has long been a source of conflict in the West over integration and gender equality. Now, another familiar practice is prompting debate: the handshake.

Last week, it was reported that a Muslim couple had been denied Swiss citizenship after refusing — for religious reasons — to shake hands with people of the opposite sex during their interview. Officials cited a lack of respect for gender equality as the reason for their decision.

Watch Video Show less