As the Swiss welcomed in the New Year, a raft of new laws and regulations came into effect, many of which will hit the pockets of normal citizens.
As from January 1, electricity prices will soar by 5% forcing each Swiss household to pay out around CHF1,000 ($1,005) annually, mainly due to higher network investment and environmental costs.
Health insurance premiums are also expected to rise by an average of 4% nationwide. Some residents who paid too much in previous years – notably those living in cantons Vaud, Geneva and Fribourg – will receive reimbursements, however.
Basic health insurance is compulsory for all residents of Switzerland. Premiums vary from one client to another and from region to region but do not depend on their income. Critics regularly complain about ever-rising healthcare costs and premiums offered by private firms.
But it is not all about money. Changes to the justice system mean victims can now be warned when their culprit is let out of prison.
Convicted pedophiles are henceforth banned from working with youngsters for at least ten years and prevented from approaching victims.
Meanwhile, Swiss banks remain in the government’s line of fire. They must further improve the amount of liquidities they keep in their reserves to be able to survive a financial crisis for at least 30 days.
swissinfo.ch with agencies