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June 2021 Swiss vote environment CO2 and terrorism law (1)

June 2021 Vote – Environment – Water – CO2 – Pesticides – Security

Contents Clean Drinking Water and Healthy Food – linking subsidies to pesticide use The Swiss electorate will vote on the Popular Initiative which links federal subsidies and their control or withdrawal because of a farmer using pesticides and prophylactic antibiotics on his farm. A new range of environmental conditions will also be introduced requiring compliance by the farmer in order to protect local water supplies and their surrounding environment. The onus will be on them to prove their ecological credibility and compliance in a number of areas including: Plant protection The use of fertilisers Animal husbandry Biodiversity support It is seen as a city v rural initiative and many involved in seeking the initiative vote believe the measures have been watered down and do not go far enough. In their opinion, direct subsidies continue to support a system of agriculture that is not good for the environment and leads to polluted drinking water. There is a belief amongst farmers the initiative is not well thought out. The farmers believe the June vote will result in further measures being requested of the politicians which are believed to include: Direct subsidies linked to stringent compliance of: No pesticides use (Federal authorities will

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Burka Ban 2021 Switzerland

07 March 2021 Swiss Vote For Burka Ban

Swiss ‘burka ban’ Accepted By Majority – To Become Law The first national votes of 2021 brought international surprise and the expected “yes” vote for the burka ban. Switzerland voted for a ban on facial coverings including the Muslim burka and niqab in public spaces. Full facial veils will still be allowed to be worn inside places of prayer and for “native customs”, such as carnival. Face coverings worn for health and safety reasons are also exempt from the ban. The vote was not an anti-mask Covid-19 pandemic reaction vote. How many people does the burka ban impact in Switzerland? It is estimated to impact about 50 people in total in a population of close to 8.5 million.  It does raise the question about how deep the Swiss thought about this topic before they voted. No-one has answered the question “How does this impact the wearing of a black veil on the train to go to a funeral or a person wearing a heavy lace veil for a public photo shoot?” They may be extreme situational highlights, yet it only takes one person to call the police and to “create a scene” even in the most innocent of situations. Next

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27 Sept 2020 Geneva Vote Minimum Vote Succeeds

27 Sep 2020 Geneva, Switzerland Votes For Minimum Wage

Some Minimum Wage History In Switzerland low-paying jobs like waiting staff, cleaners, taxi drivers and others account for over 12% of the working population. This excludes the gig economy and competition for jobs and hiring remains very strong.  In 2014 voters in Switzerland rejected plans for a nationwide minimum wage set at CHF22 an hour. Then it would have been the highest in Europe and many business leaders refused to back the initiative. 76.3% voted against the adoption of the minimum wage and voter turnout was just over 50% ( low voter turnout is an issue in Swiss politics). The Swiss median hourly wage at the time was around CHF33. The country’s trade unions pushed for the initiative because it would help reduce poverty and fight wage dumping (a big problem in Geneva and Basel) or in IT where firms bring in workers from abroad and pay them a lot less.  Once the supporters realised that they had lost, the unions vowed to continue to battle on, they also realised their mistake. It was by seeking a Federal mandate they exposed themselves to cantonal level influences and votes in Zurich, Geneva and other larger populated “well-off” areas or cities. Many

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Zurich votes on affordable housing initiative

Contents Zurich and many in Switzerland could learn about affordable housing initiative from their Austrian neighbours in Vienna. They have a history of over 100 years on affordable and social housing. The Viennese have seem to have successfully balanced the needs of social housing, tax its residents and balance commercial construction projects with the minimum of speculation. Background to the Swiss housing initiative and the Zurich housing problem Zurich is very different to how it was back in the 1980`s. It is now a magnet for migration from both inside and outside of Switzerland. Property ownership in the city is now dominated by insurance or pension companies and speculation because of low interest rates is regarded as being above normal. There are real obstacles to purchasing both commercial and private property as evidenced by Glattpark to the north of the city. In 2000 a district plan for development of the marshy land was agreed. There was to be a change of use and a mini-town with businesses and other amenities constructed. Housing was to be provided for close to 7,000 people with the schools for the children now being seen as the last item on the list to be provided.

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