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Press review Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

Many Swiss suffer from sleep disorders, but lack of shut-eye is a global problem.


Society and lifestyle coverage included statistics on sleep habits and pet ownership, while the political press covered kidnappings abroad and EU accords on the free movement of people.

Sleep-deprived Switzerland

According to German-language paper SonntagsBlick, some 33% of Swiss are believed to suffer from sleep disorders. Citing the Rand Europe research institute, the newspaper reported that insomnia costs the economy between CHF4.9 billion ($4.9 billion) and CHF8.6 billion every year, as those who do not get enough sleep are more likely to get sick and therefore contribute to work absences. When exhausted, the brain functions more slowly and becomes more distracted – effects that are exacerbated if people get less than six hours of sleep per night. Around a third of the global population is sleep-deprived.

Ten-year high for kidnappings by parents

In 2016, 62 new requests for repatriation were submitted to the Swiss justice ministry on the part of a parent in Switzerland, whose child had been abducted and taken abroad by the other parent. The data were reported Sunday by the Ostschweiz am Sonntag and Zentralschweiz am Sonntag newspapers, who noted that it’s the highest occurrence of such kidnappings in the last ten years. Most requests were made to European countries, and the average age of the child was seven years. Mothers were responsible for the kidnapping in 75% of cases.

Survey: free movement of people

The Swiss are committed to the free movement of people, according to a survey of 11,500 led by Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsZeitung. More than half (52%) reported that they would reject an initiative by the conservative Swiss People’s Party against the free movement of people if they voted today, while 37% would accept it. When asked about the general idea of a framework agreement with the EU, respondents were more closely divided, with 39% being opposed and 37% supportive. A relatively high proportion - 24% - were undecided.

Pets galore

The NZZ am Sonntag reports that 1.2 million households in Switzerland have at least one pet – that’s nearly one home in three. The German-language paper cites estimates by zoological experts that count about 1.6 million cats, 500,000 dogs and nearly as many rabbits in Swiss homes. There are also some 450,000 birds, 300,000 rodents, and nearly as many reptiles. About 4.5 million fish are believed to swim in Swiss aquariums and garden pounds. City life does appear to discourage pet ownership, though, with just 20% of city-dwellers sharing their homes with an animal, compared to over half of country folk. and agencies/cl

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