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Press review Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

More patients admitted to psychiatric units, gluten-free pet food, and a cold state visit for Doris Leuthard make up some of the headlines in the weekend newspapers.

An “alarming rise”: Antita Biedermann of the Pro Mente Sana Foundation is quoted by the SonntagsZeitung in a story about the number of hospitalizations in psychiatric clinics, which jumped by 30% in the space of a year.

The numbers are based on the official statistics of the Swiss Health Observatory, which show that between 2014 and 2015, the number of ordered placements jumped from 11,000 to 14,000, an increase that comes after years of a downward trend.

Such admissions, seen as last-case resorts by psychiatric professionals, should be kept to a minimum, said Biedermann to the newspaper. However, they form part of a larger trend that “the so-called nurturing accommodation in psychiatric hospitals has been declining for years.”

The jump may be because of an increased need for safety and order, explained Matthias Jäger, another mental health expert interviewed. Swiss society is “not very tolerant of conspicuous behaviour,” he said.

Healthy pets

Hipster dog: does your pet eat gluten-free?


Le Matin Dimanche reports on a growing trend among modern pet-owners: gluten-free food. According to the paper, these new animal products are growing in popularity despite often being twice or three times as expensive, and despite gluten intolerance being a rare occurrence in animals.

According to Persistence Market Research, quoted by the paper, the “humanisation of animal food is an emerging trend.” Pet-owners turn to such “healthy” foods when worried about bouts of vomiting, apathy, or uncontrollable scratching in their animals.

And in a global market worth CHF60 billion ($62 billion) annually, new (more expensive) pet-food could be a goldmine. The researchers estimate that the gluten-free market for animals could expand by 7% annually.

A painful audit

The NZZ am Sonntag reports that Ruag, a defence technology and aviation group owned by the Swiss state, was so opposed to the idea of an audit of its finances that the parliamentary finance committee was forced to intervene.

Pirmin Schwander, the president of the committee, told the newspaper that several letters and meetings were necessary to ensure the audit went ahead.

The Bern-based company tried to use the opinion of a law professor that said the audit was unnecessary, and only acquiesced – reluctantly – after the intervention of the committee.

“We should have come to an agreement on terms acceptable to both parties,” a Ruag spokesman told the newspaper on Sunday.


Finally, SonntagsBlick carries a feature about an upcoming state visit by President Doris Leuthard to Greenland, on 8-9 August next.

“The president risks the ice,” the paper headlines, referring to a visit that is firmly anchored within Swiss climate policy.

She will be visiting the research station Swiss Camp, her department explained – built over twenty years ago by the federal technology institute ETH Zurich on the western side of Greenland, in order to carry out research on climate change and the polar ice cap.

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