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Press review Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

Returning Bondo to its former state will be an uphill struggle

(Keystone)

The Bondo landslide, poll on fear of Islam, privatisation of flight inspections and impasse over hotel workers’ wages are among the headlines.

Reflecting on Bondo

According to the SonntagsZeitung paper, landslides like the one in Bondo that claimed eight lives, could occur in other parts of the Swiss Alps. Around 100 rock faces and slippery slopes are monitored round-the-clock by sensors. There are also dozens of structures in the water bodies in the Alps and Pre-Alps, which prevent mudslides. However, the Sunday newspaper writes that knowledge of all risky cliff sides is incomplete. 

The Le Matin Dimanche paper states that unstable slopes make up 6% of Swiss land surface. In canton Valais alone, there are 15 to 20 cliff sites that are currently under surveillance, including four or five that directly or indirectly threaten infrastructure, warned geologist Raphaël Mayoraz who added that there is no imminent risk. 

The Zentralschweiz am Sonntag and Ostschweiz am Sonntag papers point out that the cabinet had acknowledged failures in risk management in a report published in August. While the dangers of flooding, forest fires or avalanches have been well documented, comparable data on landslides do not exist. The government is now focusing on the subject. 

Fear of Islam

According to a poll released by the SonntagsBlick, 38% of those surveyed say they feel threatened by Muslims in Switzerland. The fear of Islam has more than doubled over the last 13 years. The respondents want the government to take a tougher stance against radical Salafists. A ban on this extreme version of Islam would be supported the majority in the population, writes the paper. Other measures requested include greater control over mosques and their funding, as well as increased surveillance of imams. A majority also wanted only imams trained in a Swiss university to be allowed to preach. 

Private planes

According to the SonntagsZeitung paper, The Federal Office of Civil Aviation wants to privatise some of its regulatory activities. In the future, private inspectors could be responsible for enforcing legal regulations when it comes to private pilots. This measure involves some 90 flight schools, as well as pilots of helicopters and hot air balloons. The move aims to reduce pressure on the Swiss regulator, which suffers from a lack of personnel, according to the newspaper. The proposal has not been well received by the private aviation sector. Flight instructors fear decrease in safety and the association of private pilots Aéro-Club de Suisse also criticises the outsourcing of services. 

Wage standoff

According to the SonntagsZeitung, approximately 221,000 employees in the restaurant and hotel sector facing uncertainty surrounding a possible salary increase next year. Trade associations GastroSuisse and hotelleriesuisse have failed to reach agreement with unions Unia, Syna and Hotel & Gastro Union. The workers' associations are demanding a minimum wage increase of 2%, while the employers' organisations are unwilling, blaming a difficult economic climate. They eventually agreed to a wage increase of 0.2 to 0.3% in the negotiations, depending on the training and experience of the workers, but the proposal was deemed insufficient by the trade unions.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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