Sunday press Pensions, spies and animal rights make headlines

Several thousand people took part in the Women's March in Zurich on Saturday 

(Keystone)

The future of the old age pension scheme, alleged Turkish spying activities and a growing awareness of animal rights issues are some of the issues hitting the front pages of the Swiss Sunday papers.

Following parliament’s approval of a major reform of the old age pension system, politicians are already preparing the next moves.

The NZZ am Sonntag says that three centrist parties are considering plans to bring retirement in line with general life expectations or to cut additional benefits as the Zentralschweiz am Sonntag reports.

The leftwing Social Democratic Party, one of the key promoters of the latest pension reform, plans to organise a poll among its grassroots to gauge the mood on the reform according to the SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche.

The campaign ahead of the vote, to be set for next September, is expected to be difficult with opposition both from the right and some groups from the left of the political spectrum.

On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators took part in the Women’s March in Zurich to call for more salary equality and more women representatives in parliament. Women will have to swallow the bitter pill of the pension reform as their retirement age is raised from 64 to 65, in line with those of men.

Snooping

Growing suspicions that supporters of the controversial Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are spying on alleged political opponents in Switzerland may have legal consequences.

The SonntagsBlick newspaper says a Senator, Josef Dittli, has filed a criminal complaint with the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

He demands that the authorities investigate whether the rule banning political intelligence activities in favour of a foreign state have been broken.

Dittli refers to observations about alleged spying activities by Turkish agents in Switzerland in the wake of last July’s failed military coup against Erdoğan. Reports say Turkish informants are spying on Swiss university campuses.

On April 16, Turks will vote on a referendum on constitutional amendments that include strengthening the powers of President Erdoğan. An estimated 120,000 people with Turkish roots, including around 68,000 Turkish citizens, live in Switzerland. Many of them belong to the Kurdish minority group.

Animals

The Swiss have become more and more aware of animal rights issues leading to an increasing number of legal cases but also to people donating for animal protection groups and animal shelters.

The NZZ am Sonntag reports that the legal cases soared to nearly 2,000 in 2015 from just over 600 cases ten years ago.

There have also been a growing number of attacks on farmers who raise pigs or chickens, according to an official of a farmer’s organisation.

All Swiss final

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka have set up an all Swiss final at the Indian Wells tennis masters in California.

The two met recently at the Australian Open where Federer prevailed in a semi-final. The 35-old Federer has a 19-3 career record against his Swiss compatriot. Wawrinka is to play his first Indian Wells final on Sunday.

Federer won his 18th grand slam title in January in Melbourne and Wawrinka claimed last September’s US Open.

swissinfo.ch with agencies/ug

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