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Popular picks Salaries, property and happiness make top March stories

The Swiss remain one of the happiest people on earth, according to a UN report released in March


Apart from an earthquake and a couple of train accidents, day-to-day concerns like wages, houses and wellbeing were most popular with readers last month. 

Property woes

 Alarm bells rang following an announcement of plans to make it harder for foreigners to buy property in Switzerland.  The draft bill includes a proposal that would require citizens of non-EU or EFTA member countries to sell their apartments if they leave Switzerland to live elsewhere.

Money matters

 Are you being paid enough? The release of recommended earnings by sector in a country with high salaries and no minimum wage attracted a lot of attention. Canton Zurich’s 800-page publication was quite a hit.


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Swiss passport

 Are you eligible for a Swiss passport? Zurich’s socialist mayor wants you to apply for one if you are. She sent letters to around 40,000 eligible residents in canton Zurich warning them that the rules for citizenship are going to get tougher from 2018 onwards. 

Earthquake scare

 An earthquake in early March created shockwaves among’s readers despite a lack of significant damage on the ground. The tremor, registering 4.6 on the Richter scale, was of particular interest to our Italian-speaking audience. Four major earthquakes had struck central Italy in mid-January.

Train derailment

 Switzerland’s well-regarded railways made news for the wrong reason following a derailment near the tourist city of Lucerne. No serious injuries occurred but the station had to be shut down for five days creating cancellations across the entire railway network. A week later, another train went off the rails near the Swiss capital Bern.

Back on track Coping with a derailed train in Lucerne

Travellers have been forced to make alternative arrangements after a Eurocity train from Milan to Basel partially derailed on Wednesday afternoon.

Swiss innovation

 Not everything was a disaster in March. The Swatch Group, known for its watches, announced that it had produced the world’s smallest Bluetooth chip. Measuring just five square millimeters, the chip was designed to increase autonomy and connectivity of connected objects, including smartwatches.  

Happy as a Swiss

 No reason to be grumpy in Switzerland if you believe the 2017 World Happiness Report  which awarded the country fourth place. The 188-page report compiled by the UN says the Alpine nation did well in key areas like caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.

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