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Press review Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

The city of Sion by night

Has the Sion Olympic bid committee shone a light on the true costs?


Scepticism of Sion’s Winter Olympics bid, the cost of travelling around the country and Switzerland’s addiction to sugar – here are some of the leading stories making Swiss newspapers on Sunday.

The bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics has seriously underestimated the cost of security for the event, according to some observers. The SonntagsZeitung has quoted experts calling the CHF300 million ($305 million) budget “unrealistic”.

On Wednesday, the Swiss government threw its weight behind the Sion Olympic bid by pledging CHF1 billion towards the venture. But the article suggests the bid might not add up financially. Furthermore, a survey of 80 parliamentarians by the newspaper found that 43 were against the bid.

Cost of travel

Coach operator Domo has thrown its hat into the ring to take advantage of a planned partial liberalisation of the domestic transport scene. Domo has applied for a concession to run several long-distance routes within Switzerland that would put it in direct competition with Swiss Federal Railways.

Earlier in the week, the cabinet announced plans to allow coaches to compete with the railway on a more even footing. At the same time, the government said it would continue to outlaw foreign coach operators offering domestic services as they travelled through the country.

The NZZ am Sonntag compared prices and travel durations of coach and rail routes. On the Bern to Zurich stretch, Domo will charge half the price of the Federal Railways, but the journey would take commuters 1 hour 45 minutes to complete compared with 56 minutes by train. 

Unhealthy lawsuits

Switzerland has made steady progress establishing itself as a destination for health tourists. But that offer is not always extended to United States or Canadian clients for fear of inviting lawsuits should operations go wrong.

Well-heeled foreign patients are welcome to take advantage of high-class Swiss health options as long as they don’t come from North America, Zurich’s University Hospital (USZ) confirmed to SonntagsBlick. 

"The risk that the USZ could be confronted with claims for damages cannot be completely ruled out,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.

The restriction does not apply to emergency care or for North Americans resident in Switzerland.

Sweet problem

Switzerland’s food producers are having a hard time persuading consumers to cut down on sugar for the sake of their health, the SonntagsZeitung reports. Several Swiss food manufacturers and retailers signed up to the Milan Declaration in September.

This commits them to cutting added sugar in yoghurts by a further 2.5% by the end of 2018, and added sugar in breakfast cereals by 5%. Swiss snackers consume 49.2kg of sugar per person per year - way over the 36.7kg in the European Union.

But not all Swiss consumers appear happy to be made to take the healthy option. “We are seeing end customers having difficulties accepting reduced sugar content of breakfast cereals,” supermarket chain Migros told the newspaper.

“Our experience has shown that reducing sugar too quickly leads to a significant loss of sales,” said dairy food producer Emmi.

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