Continuing with the debate between Switzerland and Europe, the cantons are being asked to weigh in on the decision of whether Switzerland should sign the accord as it stands or, possibly, walk away from it. And, of course, money is at the centre of this. A “cohesion billion franc” deal was made in 2004, whereby Switzerland was paying Europe close to one billion francs of “aid money” for the newest members of the European Union. In 2017 a second “Cohesion package” worth 1.1 billion francs was promised, but parliament is refusing to pay the money out until the accord has been hammered out. Now both sides are arguing whether the money should be paid and then discussions resume or vice-versa.
It looks very likely that people will be called to vote on whether to allow the “Marriage for all” act to be entered into law. This would, amongst other things, allow lesbian couples to have access to artificial insemination. The referendum against this law garnered 61 000 votes making it eligible to go to the people to be voted on, however an online petition begun on Monday in favour of the law has, to date, registered over 100 000 votes. It is unclear when the motion will be put to vote.
Possibly as a result of the current restrictions, jails have not been this empty on nearly two decades. Currently 73 people out of 100 000 are in jail, that’s just a little more than 6000 people, 93% of which are men. The jail capacity is currently at 85.4%.
The frost from early this month has caused severe damage to fruit producers in Switzerland. The Wallis renowned for its apricots is estimating that 70% of their crop is lost. Frost in Switzerland can happen until mid-May.