After the corona measures were relaxed and numerous restrictions on travel were lifted, the Swiss population is rediscovering their desire to travel. According to the TCS travel barometer, every second Swiss woman can imagine going abroad in the next few months, as the “SonntagsZeitung” writes. The most popular destinations are Italy, Greece and France. After more than a year of pandemic, beach holidays on the Mediterranean are luring people. It should be noted that individual travel restrictions are still in force. For example, Italy still requires a negative Covid test and a passenger localization form.
“NZZ on Sunday”:
In the meantime, optimism has also returned to the hotel industry. “This summer should be even better than the last. I would not have expected that”, quoted the “NZZ am Sonntag” Andreas Züllig, President of the Hotelleriesuisse Association. Graubünden and Ticino could hope for a good season. Things are also looking better for the city hotel industry. The last opening step by the Federal Council on May 31 breathed life back into the industry. Recovery could even go faster than originally thought, said Martin von Moos, President of the Zurich Hotelier Association. The research institute BAK Economics supports this observation. The Covid certificate could additionally stimulate the market.
The Swiss Travel Association has received severe criticism from parliamentarians of all stripes. He will hold his general assembly in the Arab emirate of Ras al-Khaimah in November. According to “SonntagsBlick”, this is a questionable choice for an industry that has received CHF 140 million in A-funds perdu contributions from the federal government. “I am very irritated about the choice of destination, said Regula Rytz, National Councilor of the Greens. She wonders where the solidarity with the local hotel industry is. It is insensitive to hold such an event abroad now, while the catering trade in Switzerland and the hotel industry would be so badly shaken by the crisis, said SVP National Councilor Esther Friedli.
“SonntagsZeitung” https://www.cash.ch/ “Le Matin Dimanche”:
Together with partners, SBB is expanding its range of night trains. SBB is aiming for ten routes and 25 night train destinations by 2025, said SBB boss Vincent Ducrot in an interview with the “SonntagsZeitung”. The SBB is currently developing an offer with its partners SNCF, Deutsche Bahn, ÖBB and Trenitalia. Even today, travelers could use night trains to Berlin, Hamburg, Prague or Vienna. Amsterdam will be added by the end of the year. Rome will follow next year. The night trains would never be profitable. With the offer, however, SBB is responding to a demand that is in the air today. Traveling by train instead of by car reduced CO2 emissions.
After the outbreak of the corona pandemic, numerous countries, including Switzerland, brought their citizens back to their home country with special flights around the globe. The sending department EDA billed the people who had returned by charter flight for the flight. Now it turns out that 550 invoices are still open, as reported by the “SonntagsZeitung”. A total of 7,100 invoices were issued. The federal government had to write off around 70 of them directly. Around 160 people have an ongoing installment agreement with the federal government. According to an extrapolation, the outstanding amount should be CHF 630,000.
“NZZ on Sunday”:
Switzerland has become more attractive for wealthy foreigners because of the corona pandemic. The decisive factor is political and economic stability. The freedom-loving tradition of Switzerland is seen by many foreign customers as a great advantage, quoted the “NZZ am Sonntag” Frédéric Rochat of the Geneva private bank Lombard Odier. For example, the curfews in Switzerland were much less rigid than in other countries. In difficult times, the strengths of the Swiss Confederation come into play best. Another argument is the low level of debt. Wealthy people have been keeping a close eye on budget deficits in many countries. Because sooner or later they led to higher taxes.
Large Swiss corporations are calling for state subsidies after the seven most important industrial nations (G7) want to introduce a global minimum tax of 15 percent. That is a taboo, writes the “SonntagsBlick”. In the past, Switzerland avoided direct support and funding measures. But now Switzerland is being urged by the international community to consider such instruments, “SonntagsBlick” quotes Martin Hess, head of taxes at the Swissholdings association. Among other things, Hess includes preferential loans for investments in the toolkit. Frank Marty, tax expert at Economiesuisse, mentions funding for research and development.
“NZZ on Sunday”:
The lack of transparency in the cost of charging e-cars calls the price watchdog into action. While there is clarity with the fuel pumps, the situation with the charging stations for electric vehicles is much more complicated, writes the “NZZ am Sonntag”. Price supervisor Stefan Meierhans criticizes the lack of transparency. The owners of e-cars should actually know what they will be charged for electricity before they start charging. Unfortunately, that is often not the case today. Krispin Romang, managing director of Swiss e-Mobility, also sees room for improvement when it comes to price transparency. The industry is working on simplifications. In the future, the price for electricity purchases will be displayed via SMS.
While the world is pushing mRNA technology with billions to fight coronaviruses, Switzerland is hesitating. The “SonntagsBlick” quotes the cancer researcher Thomas Cerny in this context. Many researchers are massively disappointed that the federal government has not yet seized the opportunity to invest heavily in mRNA technology. If Switzerland were to be decoupled from international research cooperation because of the failed framework agreement, this would be a major damage for the local location. The 50 million francs recently spoken by the Federal Council, however, are a piece of cake. There must now be a jolt through the Federal Council and Parliament. The signal must be that in the future only the best will be offered the best conditions.
“Le Matin Dimanche”:
The Swiss hospitality industry is considering a new approach to repaying Covid-19 loans. It wants to repay these loans through VAT, reports the French-speaking Sunday newspaper “Le Matin Dimanche”. The proposal provides for the difference between the VAT rate for on-site catering (7.7 percent) and that for out-of-home sales (2.5 percent) to be used to repay the loans. Specifically, a restaurant owner with a turnover of 100,000 francs would still pay 7700 francs VAT, but 5200 francs of this sum would automatically be used to repay the Covid loan. This continues until the debt has been repaid. In parliament, the idea is well received by representatives of the SP, FDP, SVP and Mitte.
“NZZ on Sunday”:
The EU Commission is actively promoting the exclusion of the Swiss electricity industry from the European electricity trading system. As reported by the “NZZ am Sonntag”, the Commission asked the European network operators in December to exclude the Swiss company Swissgrid from the EU trading platforms as of March 1, 2021. Against this, Swissgrid filed a complaint with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in February. The proceedings are pending. Although the reference date passed more than three months ago, Swissgrid still has access to the trading platform.