Swiss newspapers were full of April Fool’s Day jokes on Saturday. But they were not the only ones spinning yarns and fake news: associations, firms and even local authorities got in on the act.
After recent news that Swiss Post had started using drones to deliver laboratory samples such as urine tests between two hospitals in canton Ticino, a Valais winemaking cooperative announced that it was interested in a similar scheme. The Nouvelliste newspaper claimed that the Provins cooperative was keen to start delivering wine using drones. The cooperative's website reportedly received 4,000 visits in the space of two hours and around 100 people visited their offices in Sion on Saturday morning to verify the news, which was false, of course.
The Fribourg-based La Liberté newspaper reported that United States President Donald Trump was the mysterious investor behind a huge real estate project worth CHF120 million ($119 million) in the Basse Broye region in canton Fribourg.
Meanwhile, the Impartial newspaper of canton Neuchâtel revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a flying visit last Sunday to the local town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, where he had been met by the local authorities. Putin came to pay homage to Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, the paper claimed. The father of the Russian revolution visited La Chaux-de-Fonds on March 18, 1917; he had been living in Switzerland since 1914 (this last past is true).
Following a spate of train accidents and derailments, the 24Heures and Tribune de Genève newspapers wrote that Federal Railways (CFF) spokesman Jean-Claude Fishmann had announced the company was planning to introduce seat belts and air bags on trains.
Elsewhere, the Geneva cantonal police claimed they want to reduce the stress surrounding alcohol tests by creating a new flavoured breathalyzer. When drivers blow into the machine it releases either a chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or orange taste, the police wrote.
Zermatt Tourism joked that this summer a pilot projectexternal link would be launched to integrate sheep into the Alpine rescue effort as emergency workers. Several sheep have already been trained to look for and find injured hikers in the mountains close to the Matterhorn so that they can then be rescued as quickly as possible, it announced.
The football club FC Xamax of Neuchâtel also announced a special match day ticket offer – two tickets for the price of one if you bring along your dog, hamster, cat or tortoise to sit next to you at a game.
In Montreux, the local city authorities said they had given the green light to a hotel group to build three floating hotel suites on Lake Geneva alongside a floating panoramic restaurant.
Meanwhile, Südostschweiz newspaper reported how canton Graubünden hoped to bounce back after local voters this year rejected a proposal to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. It said a special promotional partnership deal had been concluded by the capital of Chur to become the ‘world’s first Star Wars city’. Local street cleaners would be dressed as heroes from the Hollywood blockbuster series, such as Darth Vador or Luke Skywalker, it claimed.