Znüni News – Tuesday October 23

Shop opening hours has always been a contentious topic but it seems like the new solution suggested by the city is going to meet some opposition, but might actually enable shops to stay open longer. The idea is that shops downtown Lucerne should be allowed to stay open until 22.30 during weekdays and until 20.00 on Sundays. The only caveat is that one third of goods on sale should be specifically for tourists. The socialist party who is the main party against this idea. says that this ruling will only benefit the bigger stores, souvenir shops and jewellery shops. The proponents argue that any shop could have one third of their goods for “tourists”. The other suggestion would be to classify the old part of town as a tourist zone so that all businesses there could benefit from this exemption. The city is now planning a pilot phase to try out the system and see whether it is successful or not. Currently the most liberal canton is Bern which allows shop to stay open until 20.00 during the week, 17.00 on Saturdays and 22.00 on late night shopping.

The budget cuts are affecting the police. Whereas other police forces are recruiting, the Lucerne police force which is merged with the canton police, is looking at cutting even more jobs. Currently the ratio is one policeman for every 606 inhabitants, this will rise to 1/624 inhabitants. The police are arguing that this will put an end to any prevention efforts and they can only address the symptoms of criminality not the source. They even go so far as to say that Lucerne will soon become an Eldorado for criminals in particular in regards to drugs and the sex industry will be coming to Lucerne. Nationally there is a goal to have one policeman per 601 inhabitants by 2020, this goal will not be met unless an extra 50 to 100 policemen are recruited for the canton of Lucerne. The budget is currently being discussed in parliament.

Talking of budgets, the SVP is arguing that the city took 70 millions francs more in taxes in the past years than budgeted. They are arguing that because of this there should be less taxes to pay in the coming years. They are threatening to have a referendum on the subject next year to force the city to lower taxes. However how they come to this calculation is hotly disputed.

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