New cycling laws, Swiss life expectancies and more in our roundup of Swiss news from April 1 – 5.
Russian oligarch property ‘frozen’
Switzerland’s State Secretary for Economic Affairs reported this week that at least ten Swiss properties belonging to Russian oligarchs have been “frozen” in line with Switzerland’s sanctions on Russia. Not much has been revealed, except that one property is a chalet in the Bernese Oberland belonging to Piotr Awen, the former head of Russia’s largest commercial bank Alfa-Bank. At least 6.2 billion has been seized, but money laundering experts say a lot of oligarchy money may never be recovered. Read more.
Lights on, bikers!
All electric bicycles in Switzerland must have their headlights on – whether being ridden during the day or at night, according to the Swiss government. Cyclists who do not comply with the measure face a fine of 20 chf. The new rule follows the revelation that more people in 2021 died in Switzerland from e-bike accidents than by gunfire. By 2024, e-bikes that go faster than 25 km/hr will be required to have speedometers, as well. Read more.
Swiss births up, life expectancies longer
Nearly 90,000 babies were born in Switzerland in 2021 – a number the country has not seen since 1972, according to the Federal Office of Statistics. The number comes after a particularly low period in 2020. Moreover, the average life expectancy also increased in 2021 — for Swiss men it is now 81.7 and for Swiss women, 87.7. Read more.
Home of innovation: Switzerland leads in patents
Switzerland remains the country with the largest number of inventions per capita in the world, the European Patent Office reported this week. The cantons of Zürich and Vaud lead the way, with patents for medical technology being the most popular. Companies such as Roche, Philip Morris, Swatch and Nestlé file most of the patents. Read more.