By the numbers: surveillance, speed limits and spies


Almost every article published by contains a percentage, an age, an amount of money or some other figure. Here’s a round-up of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories.



The speed limit, in kilometres per hour, set in many residential areas in Switzerland. According to the newspaper SonntagsBlick, the number of "30" zones has "exploded" over the past 10 years.



The number of people suspected of becoming radicalised and placed under surveillance by authorities in Geneva, according to an interview given Monday by cantonal minister Pierre Maudet. The figure has doubled over the past year.



Swiss prosecutors charged three Germans with industrial espionage and violating banking secrecy. The individuals allegedly passed confidential documents to German courts and authorities. For years, German authorities have tried to obtain details of citizens trying to evade tax in the Alpine nation.



The amount, in tons, of cheese that the Swiss consumed last year — on their breakfast plates, accompanying wine or tea, or melted in a fondue pot. Worryingly for Swiss cheesemakers, their compatriots are buying more foreign cheeses — almost a third of the total — which is eating into their margins.



The Swiss National Bank went on a buying spree last year, spending CHF48.2 billion in foreign currency to stop the Swiss franc appreciating. However, that was down from CHF67.1 billion in 2016. A high franc is considered bad for Switzerland since the country's economy is driven by exports.



The salary, in Swiss francs, earned by Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam in 2017, which represents a decrease of 5.3% compared to 2016. Executive compensation has been under close scrutiny at Switzerland's second-largest bank in recent months.

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