How Swiss banks are responding to global inflation, arrests made over fireworks ban, and more in our roundup of Swiss news from August 1 – 5.
Why Swiss cheese may be in peril
A U.S. court ruled earlier this year that “Gruyere cheese” does not have to be made in Gruyères or even in Switzerland to bear the name on its label. Swiss cheesemakers are appealing the ruling – just one of two legal battles they are involved in to protect their product from foreign reproductions. The other legal fight is with German and French cheesemakers who produce a cheese labeled “Emmental,” although Swiss cheesemakers say that name should be protected by its Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP). The European Intellectual Property Office ruled earlier that “Emmental” does not mean it has to come from Bern’s Emmental Valley, but simply that it is a kind of cheese with holes in it. Deliberations over that issue will begin in September. Read more.
Swiss franc responds to months-long inflation
The Swiss consumer price inflation held steady in July at 3.4% after hitting a nearly 30-year high in June. July marks a sixth-month streak that inflation has surpassed the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) 0-2% target range. After the bank increased its rate for the first time in 15 years in June, economists say they expect the Swiss bank may soon tighten the reins again. “Swiss inflation appears to have peaked in July at an enviably low level compared to that of most other advanced economies,” Capital Economics financial analyst Michael Tran said in a note to clients. SNB officials say the Swiss franc will strengthen as a way to hinder imported inflation. Read more.
Fireworks ban results in two arrests
Several fires broke in the Valais region on Monday this week – a result of illegal fireworks being set off for Swiss National Day, Swiss police reported Tuesday. Firefighters were able to put out the fires near Sion and no one was injured. Police said they arrested a 22-year-old local carrying several fireworks (some banned in Switzerland), as well as a 21-year-old for negligent arson. Both will report to public prosecutors and if convicted, they will have to pay the cost of the firefighters’ service. In preparation of the national holiday, cantonal authorities announced last week that fireworks and bonfire were banned, as drought and a heatwave has made fires more likely. Many cantons today still have barbeque and forest bonfire bans in place until autumn. Read more.
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