Welcome to the first day of the meteorological summer! Summer is definitely in the air, and June is also “Gay Pride” month, reminding us to embrace diversity and remain inclusive.
Let’s hope that openess and a willingness for change are in the air for the summer session of the national parliament which runs until June 18. They have several big topics to deal with.
- Including deciding on the pension reforms and whether women should have to work longer (up to age 65) and whether there will be any compensation for the first women being affected by this change.
- They will also look at weapon export rules and whether new rules are to be put into place to control where the weapons get sold.
- There is talk of abolishing the issuing tax on equity, which would cost Switzerland CHF 250 million francs loss in revenue but potentially make the country more attractive to foreign companies.
- The subsidies for energy plants that produce electricity from renewable energies such as solar, water or wind will expire at the end of 2022. With a bill for a new subsidy system, the National Council’s Energy Commission wants to secure support until the end of 2030.
- Private individuals and companies are to have easier access to civil courts. The Federal Council wants to halve the advance payments for court costs, which today effectively represent a barrier to access to a court. The Legal Commission also proposes to allow video conferences for witness hearings in the future. Controversial in the commission is the Federal Council’s proposal to allow English as a language in court proceedings.
Things are looking up with regards to the spread of the pandemic but it’s not over yet. As Schaffhausen has closed a primary school and 8 kindergartens after a cluster of cases was discovered in one of the classes.
In order to avoid stigmatising countries the WHO has deciding to rename the Covid-19 new variants with letters from the Greek Alphabet. From now on the UK variant will be referred to as the Alpha variant; the South African as Beta; the Indian as Delta and the original Brasilian variant as Gamma, not to be confused with the new Brasilian variant (P2) now to be know as Zeta. We will have to see whether it really catches on…