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WHAT CHANGES IN SWITZERLAND

Everything that changes in Switzerland in June 2023

From rent increases to an outdoor smoking ban in Geneva, these are the events that are planned in Switzerland in June 2023.

Everything that changes in Switzerland in June 2023
Will the upcoming summer be as hot as in 2022? Photo: Galvão Menacho on Pexels

June 1st: many rents to rise sharply 

With the benchmark mortgage rate rising on June 1st many landlords will be able to increase rents.

The benchmark mortgage rate increases to 1.50 percent, which means landlords will be able to raise rents by 3 percent. the government said.

Currently, 54 percent of rental contracts in Switzerland are based on that rate, but regionally, the percentage is even higher.

In the Zurich area, for instance, as well as in central Switzerland more than 60 percent of rental contracts are based on a 1.25-percent reference rate.

READ ALSO: How do you know if your Swiss rent is too high — and how can you challenge it?

June 1st: No outdoor smoking in Geneva

In order to “provide a healthy environment,” smoking will be prohibited in certain outdoor spaces in Geneva from June 1st, the canton announced.

The new regulation forbids smoking within nine metres around playgrounds and schools.

The same smoke-free distance will apply to outdoor swimming pools, and outdoor spaces of bars and restaurants.

Smoking will also not be allowed at public transport stops, including in waiting areas.

READ ALSO: Geneva bans smoking in some outdoor areas

June 12th: Swiss air traffic to experience disruptions

NATO will be conducting extensive air force exercises from June 12th to 24th.

While these manoeuvres will take place on the German air space, the proximity to Switzerland means restrictions could be placed  on flights to and from Zurich airport.

This could result in flight delays and even cancellations. 

NATO planes over Germany will impact Swiss air traffic. Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP

June 14th: Feminist strike

As part of a global movement, women across the country will march to highlight the gender bias that is widespread in Switzerland, especially regarding work and childcare conditions.

They will campaign for fewer working hours at the same pay; abolition of the three-pillar pension system in favour of a single pillar; paid parental leave of at least one year, as well as other demands detailed here

This annual event began in 2017, with women in various countries, including Switzerland, rallying for equal pay, as well as other gender and trans-gender rights.

Women will demonstrate throughout Switzerland on June 14th. Photo by Lou BENOIST / AFP

June 18th: Referendums

In the first of three referendums scheduled for 2023, the Swiss will cast their votes on three issues.

The first one is Covid Law. Even though the last health measures were lifted more than a year ago, voters will have to decide on various federal provisions  — especially pertaining to border measures in the event of a pandemic, the protection of vulnerable people, and the promotion and development of treatments for the coronavirus.

The second issue is related to climate, particularly the target of zero greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland by 2050, thanks to funding of 2 billion over 10 years for the replacement of fossil fuels. 

The third issue Swiss voters will have to weigh in on is that of taxation of international companies.

Negotiated by nearly 140 countries around the world, the reform of the tax on profits of multinationals aims to establish a minimum rate of 15 percent on international corporations — higher than Switzerland’s current tax rate.

The Local will explain each of these issues in detail.

June 21st: First day of summer

The (mostly rainy and cool) spring will give way to the summer season.

Meteorologists don’t yet have an accurate forecast for the next months, but those who still remember the extreme, drought-causing heatwave of 2022 are hoping this summer will be more pleasant, weather-wise.

There are the public holidays in June in your canton:

  • 8th: Corpus Christi, national except AR, BL, BS, BE, GE, GL, NE, SH, SG, TG, VD, ZH
  • 23rd:  Independence of Jura, JU
  • 29th:  St Peter and St Paul,  GR, TI

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WHAT CHANGES IN SWITZERLAND

Everything that changes in Switzerland in June 2024

From important referendums to train travel disruptions, these are the events and changes that are planned in Switzerland in June 2024.

Everything that changes in Switzerland in June 2024

June 4th: Fighter jets on a motorway

The A1 motorway between Avenches and Payerne in canton Vaud will be closed to ‘regular’ traffic from June 4th to 6th.

That’s because F/A-18 fighter jets will be landing on, and taking off from, this section of the highway.

The reason is that the Swiss Air Force will be testing whether in case of emergencies its fighter aircraft can also be deployed from improvised locations, such as motorways.

June 9th: National referendums

The Swiss will vote on some hot-button issues in a second round of national referendums.

Two proposals aiming to curb the cost of the obligatory health insurance (KVG / LaMal) are on the ballot.

The first one calls for capping the insurance rates at 10 percent of income, with the excess be paid for by the federal and cantonal governments.

The second provides for a ‘brake’ on health costs, which should evolve according to the economy and wages.

READ ALSO: How Switzerland’s two crucial health insurance referendums could impact you 

Also on the ballot is a proposal titled “For the freedom of physical integrity,” launched by the STOP compulsory vaccination committee of a group called Swiss Freedom Movement.

The initiative demands “protection of the body” against interference by the state — anything from vaccinations and other medical procedures to actions involving physical contact that could impact a person’s physical and mental state.

READ ALSO: What’s at stake in Switzerland’s ‘physical integrity’ referendum on June 9th? 

The fourth issue is the electricity supply.

That’s because supplying Switzerland with sufficient energy has become a challenge due to International conflicts and the restructuring of the European power grid.

Therefore, a new law sets the ground for Switzerland to rapidly produce more electricity from renewable energy sources such as water, sun, wind, and biomass. 

June 9th: Geneva to weigh in on foreigners’ voting rights

Geneva residents will go to the polls to decide on an initiative launched by the trade unions and political left, calling for foreigners who have lived in the canton for at least eight years to be able to vote and stand as candidates for political offices at the cantonal level.

Foreign nationals can already vote in Geneva on municipal level, but supporters of the initiative argue that his ‘upgrade’ to the cantonal voting rights is important, because it would enable foreigners to have more political impact.

READ ALSO: Could Geneva be first Swiss canton to grant foreign residents more voting rights? 

June 9th: International train disruption

From this day and for at least three months, the train service between Italian cities of Domodossola and Milan will be interrupted due to railway works, also disrupting travel between western Switzerland and Italy.

To make it easier for people from Switzerland to reach Italy during the peak summer travel, Swiss national rail company SBB is considering setting up direct buses from Geneva and Lausanne to Milan via the Grand Saint-Bernard tunnel.

“We are planning around three buses in each direction every day,” the company said. 

June 14th: Feminist strike

As in years past, women in Switzerland will take to the streets to highlight the gender bias that is widespread in the country, especially regarding work, wages, and childcare conditions. 

This annual event began in 2017, with women in various countries, including Switzerland, rallying for equal pay, as well as other gender and trans-gender rights.

June 15th -16th: Switzerland to host high-level conference on peace in Ukraine

The summit, to be held at the Bürgenstock resort in the canton of Nidwalden, aims to establish a forum on ways to achieve a lasting peace in Ukraine, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.

While a number of countries have already accepted an invitation from the Swiss president Viola Armherd to attend the conference, Russia said it would not be there. 

June 20th: The first day of summer

Regardless of weather, June 20th marks the astronomical first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

It will last until the first day of fall, that is, September 22nd.

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