The cost of living in Switzerland is high and the monthly health insurance premiums are enough to tear a big hole in many household budgets. (Nora Hesse, swissinfo.ch)
When people abroad hear about high Swiss wages, many tend to regard the Alpine country as some kind of paradise. But the truth is that everyday life is expensive and many people hardly ever eat out, while holidays and leisure activities are considered a luxury.
Anyone who has done a weekly shop across the border and compared prices with Switzerland knows how much more it costs on the Swiss side. Based on the Worldwide Cost of Living Report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)external link, Zurich and Geneva are among the world's most expensive cities.
According to the people swissinfo.ch spoke to, what seems to hit hardest is the high cost of health insurance. People are forking out hundreds of francs per month and premiums have tripled over the past 20 years.The Swiss understand that health costs are high and that they are paying for an excellent service, but the increases are causing hardship in many cases.
Nora Hesse asked passers-by in Altdorf, canton Uri, what they spend their money on.