Swiss President Cassis meets Japanese Prime Minister, Swiss banks criticized and more in our roundup of Swiss news from April 12 – 19.
Ukrainian refugees given less than others in Switzerland
While the Swiss government has been lauded for its quick “S Visa” process allowing those arriving from war-torn Ukraine to move quickly into Switzerland, refugees are being given less than half the financial aid refugees from other countries are receiving, according to an analysis released this week by SonntagsZeitung newspaper. The analysis found that a Ukrainian parent with two children was given 865 CHF a month to cover food, clothing and transportation. If that same person had arrived as a refugee from a different country, he would have received 1,800 CHF. Swiss politician Andreas Glarner said this week the amount is too “meager” and must be increased. Read more.
Swiss National Bank ranks last in transparency
A group of economists this week released a report criticizing a lack of transparency at Switzerland’s National Bank (BNS), calling out particularly the small governing board. The bank “should not only publicize its monetary policy decisions, but also explain the alternatives for action considered and the reasons for which they were rejected,” the report read. Moreover, the bank needs this transparency as the evolution of the franc “very important for companies and individuals.” The laws governing BNS have not been updated since 2003, though banking has changed much in the past 20 years, the report states. Read more.
Switzerland and Japan condemn Russia
Swiss President Ignazio Cassis met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida this week in Tokyo on holding Russia accountable for its attacks on Ukraine. Both nations, although neutral, support the EU’s latest sanctions against Russia and have enacted their own. Japan has frozen assets of hundreds of Russian, banned new Russian business and trade, including exporting any goods to Russia that could be used militarily. Japan will also phase out imports of Russian coal. Kishida said that his nation fears its own invasion as China has been pushing “territorial claims.” Read more.