Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Pensions held at Credit Suisse not affected by the collapse

If your pension and AHV / AVS fund is invested at the beleaguered bank, you may be worried that you will lose money.
However, the good news in this dramatic situation is that the damage is likely to be less than expected.
“We are not suffering any major material losses,” Manuel Leuthold, president of the first-pillar compensation funds (compenswiss) said on Tuesday. 

The reason is that compenswiss invested only an “insignificant” part in Credit Suisse.
“The volume is small,” Leuthold said.
However, Credit Suisse has not always been cautious with money invested in its pension schemes.
Compenswiss, along with other large Swiss pension funds like Publica and Suva, belong to the Swiss Association for Responsible Investments (SVVK).
Its managing director Tamara Hardegger pointed out the association has been faced with the bank’s “systematic violations of ethical principles,” including fraud, market manipulation, money laundering, tax evasion, and bribery.
READ MORE: Reader question: Will Credit Suisse crisis impact my savings in Switzerland?

Basel residents faced with growing debt over energy prices
When electricity costs soared sharply in Switzerland at the beginning of 2023, Basel was hit with more substantial increases — between 42 and 46 percent —than residents of many other cities.

As a result of this hike, many residents now pay hundreds of francs more than before, causing financial difficulties, and even arrears, in paying bills.
The Basel debt advice centre and tenants’ association say that problem of not being able to pay for the service “triggers stress in certain people and a vicious circle begins to turn,” according to spokesperson Melanie Nussbaumer.

“Such stress can, in turn, lead to health problems. This can then  even cause problems at work — that is a whole dynamic that is set in motion — and at the beginning there may really only be the heating cost bill.”

Lower speed limits in cities prevent accidents

Almost all major Swiss cities are set to introduce speed limits of 30km/h in the coming decade.

Although several automotive associations have come out against a general change, a new analysis by the Accident Prevention Bureau (BPA) unveiled on Tuesday shows that 30 km/h limits “have enormous potential for improving road safety.” 
After reviewing nearly 600 of these areas, the BPA concluded “that the creation [of these zones] has made it possible to reduce the number of serious accidents by 38 percent on average.”

This result shows that speed should be limited to 30 km/h “wherever road safety requires it, not only on neighbourhood roads, but also on certain sections of the roads assigned to general traffic.”
READ MORE: These parts of Switzerland are set to introduce a 30km/h speed limit 

South Korean yodeller conquers Tik-Tok

If you thought only Swiss people can yodel, think again.

True, this art form was originally created in Switzerland by shepherds calling their stock or to communicate between Alpine villages.
But in today’s globalised world the Swiss can no longer claim exclusive rights to Ay – EEE – Oooo’s.

In fact, one of the videos that has gone viral on TikTok is of a South Korean man dressed in a traditional Alpine costume, singing a Bernese Oberland yodel — in Swiss German —  without ever having set foot in the region.

You can listen to his interpretation here
 If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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