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Storm, weasel and working hours By the numbers: High winds mark start of year

tree down

With wind speeds approaching 200km/h, winter storm Burglind knocked down the 13-metre Christmas tree in front of the train station in Bern.


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.



At 45, Alain Berset is the youngest politician to become Swiss president since 1934. In an interview with, Berset remains cautious about a change in Swiss-EU relations and talks about whether Switzerland is experiencing its own ballot box protests.



A display of art from the controversial collection by Cornelius Gurlitt has been hailed as an early success. The Fine Arts Museum in the Swiss capital, Bern, reports that it had more than 78,000 entries between November and the end of December. That’s more than 1,500 visitors a day. The exhibition is to run until the beginning of March.



Nature conservation organisation Pro Natura announced the animal of the year: the short-tailed weasel, also known as the stoat or ermine. The slim mammal used to be widespread in Switzerland, but its habitat in lower-lying regions at up to 3,000 metres above sea level has become threatened in recent years. On average, the stoat weighs about 30 grammes and measures about 30 centimetres long.



Winter storm Burglind ripped across Switzerland on Wednesday, leaving a trail of disruption: derailing a train, blocking roads and cancelling flights. Winds of almost 200km/h (at altitude) and 171km/h (on lower ground) were recorded. In some cantons police advised citizens to stay home.



More than 41 hours and 10 minutes? In Switzerland, that’s the average work week for people with full-time jobs – relatively few compared with most developed countries. How did Switzerland get to this seemingly happy situation, and why are unions and business associations getting all worked up?

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