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Switzerland the ‘weakest link’ in European sanctions

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Why Switzerland has too many Covid vaccines, the bleak outlook for Switzerland’s 2023 economy, and more in our roundup of Swiss news from July 7 – July 13.

 

 

The highest concentration of Russians in Switzerland is in Zug, pictured above.

 

 

Switzerland the ‘weakest link’ in European sanctions

 

Writing in The Wall Street Journal this week, journalist Drew Hinshaw reports how Switzerland’s canton of Zug has only sanctioned one company “out of the roughly 30,000 registered” owned or controlled by a sanctioned Russian individual, as local leaders say they have struggled to decipher the stacks of paperwork. Zug’s failure to launch is “emblematic” of the whole country. About 80% of Russia’s commodities are traded through Switzerland and Swiss banks manage roughly $150-200 billion for Russian clients. Hinshaw asserts that the canton, like all of Switzerland, may not be zealous about sanctioning residents, as so “many Russian billionaires have homes or businesses here that…Swiss newspapers nicknamed Zug ‘Little Moscow’.” Read more.

 

Switzerland’s wealth distribution: Is it equal?

 

Swiss economy facing a tough year in 2023

 

The Swiss economy is expected to grow by less than 1% in 2023, according to a new report written by financial experts at the BAK Economics Institute in Basel. In contract, Switzerland’s gross domestic product will grow about 2.5% by the end of 2022 – a miracle considering the challenges the nation has faced this year. In 2023, Switzerland’s economy will be hit by the predicted energy crisis, experts say. The energy crisis will force Swiss banks to tighten monetary policies. Read more.

 

 

Switzerland destroying covid vaccines

 

Switzerland will be forced to destroy excess Covid-19 vaccine doses that residents are not interested in taking – the country is currently holding at least 38 million excess doses meant to be used by the end of 2022. Switzerland announced in May that it intended to destroy 620,000 expired doses of the Moderna vaccine, so the new figure is part of a growing trend. Experts say that wealthy EU countries like Switzerland were able to procure so many vaccines early through Advance Purchase Agreements (APAs) with suppliers – paying 20% of their negotiated price upfront. While Switzerland was able to secure vaccines for residents who wanted them through the APAs, it also pushed them to purchase far more vaccines than the country needed. Read more.

 

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