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Press review Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

The release of a book detailing instances of child abuse by celebrated Swiss educator Jürg Jegge, created shockwaves and launched a police investigation


Here’s a round-up of some top stories in the Swiss Sunday papers.

German-language papers SonntagsBlick, Sonntags Zeitung and NZZ am Sonntag reported on canton Zurich authorities opening a  preliminary investigation against well-known educator Jürg Jegge, on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors. According to a book released last week by one of his former students, the abuse dates back to several decades ago. On Friday, Jegge gave interviews to the press admitting to abusing less than ten minors. The investigation will try to determine if any other cases of abuse took place later on, as Jegge could potentially avoid being held accountable for his actions under the statute of limitations.

 According to the paper NZZ am Sonntag federal subsidies increased by 28% between 2008 and 2016 to CHF 38.8 billion ($38.4 billion). Increase in spending on social welfare, including pensions and healthcare, is largely responsible for the rise (from CHF4 billion in 2008 to CHF 18 billion in 2016). The paper also flagged up increased federal aid in promotional activities like cheese marketing (CHF22 million), supporting independent films (CHF29.6 million) and cultural activities (CHF38.8 million) as well as tourism advertising (CHF52.7 million). 

In an interview with the SonntagsBlick paper, the director of the Swiss Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) Nicoletta della Valle, called for additional means to fight terrorism. According to her, Fedpol is overloaded with work despite being provided with 23 additional posts of limited duration (up to 2018) to combat terrorism. At the very least, she wants these posts to be extended. Fedpol is currently developing a legal basis for "counter-terrorism measures outside the normal criminal procedure" in the context of the fight against terrorism. These measures include obligations for suspects to present themselves, the blocking of travel documents, perimeter bans, electronic bracelets and 24-hour preventive detention. 

In an interview with Le Matin Dimanche, Thomas Bauer, the head of Switzerland financial regulatory body FINMA, said the increase in the number of money laundering cases by Swiss banks was due to their forays into emerging economies. He attributed the banks’ due diligence failings on a lack of understanding of the environment in emerging countries compared to their traditional strongholds. Bauer added that the two big scandals of 1MDB in Malaysia and Petrobas in Brazil were responsible for the bulk of FINMA’s monitoring and enforcement activities in 2016. According to him, these scandals had cast a negative light on Switzerland as a financial hub even if most of the Swiss firms acted correctly. and agencies

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