Steel trade screeches to a halt in Switzerland

Red Cross struggles with war propaganda, scientists gone rogue, and more in our roundup of Swiss news from April 5 – 8.


Members of Ukraine’s own Red Cross first aid response team pause in Kyiv.


Red Cross under fire in Ukraine

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been the victim of “deliberate, targeted” propaganda attacks, that is undermining the humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine. The misinformation campaign includes claims the ICRC is forcing Ukrainians to evacuate into refugee camps in Russia, according to the ICRC. Many volunteers have stopped wearing the iconic red cross symbol which has become synonymous with its Swiss birthplace. “It’s not the first time that we see the devastating effects of misinformation on social media. But in this case, the scale is totally unprecedented,” said ICRC Director-General Robert Mardini. Read more.


Steel trade in Ticino crippled by war sanctions

The Italy-bordering canton of Ticino has been struggling since Switzerland adopted sanctions against Russia, as it serves as a global trading center for metal products from Eastern Europe. Nearly half of Ticino raw materials companies specialize in minerals and metals. One of the largest company’s in the Lugano area is Severstal Export, owned by a Russian steel conglomerate belonging to oligarch Alexey Mordashov. “February 24, 2022 is a date that will go down in history… “For most of those here in Lugano who trade in steel with Russia and Ukraine this means total paralysis,” said the CEO of a steel trade company, who prefers to remain anonymous. Read more.


Scientists in Bern recreate the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” in protest of continued use of fossil fuels. (Photo: Scientist Rebellion).


Scientists protest climate change

Seventeen Swiss scientists in Bern this week glued parts of the United Nations’ climate report on the exterior walls of the capital city’s Federal Palace. The protest was part of a global campaign – the Scientist Rebellion – in which more than 1,200 scientists are currently members. University of Fribourg evolutionary biologist Sanja Hakala said “if we don’t stop the fossil fuel industry immediately, we will lose everything. The time for writing reports is over and the time civil resistance has begun.” Swiss police protected the scientists’ right to protest, and then detained them for one hour and banned them from entering the capital for one day.


Switzerland adopts new food waste plan

Farmers, food processors and restaurants have been asked to comply with measures which will reduce the amount of discarded food, the Swiss environment minister announced this week. Nearly one-third of food produced for Swiss consumers is wasted or discarded needlessly, according to a new report. The new plan will improve packaging, extend the shelf life of certain products and increase donations to welfare organizations. The effectiveness of the plan will be reevaluated in 2025. Read more.



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