Could you pass the language test to become Swiss? Wednesday, 15 May, 2013The canton of Zurich has come up with a standardised German test for foreign nationals who want to become Swiss. At the moment, local communiites can come up with their own test, and it differs across the canton. Some places hold a half-hour conversation with applicants, some set a written and oral exam based on third-party advice. The aim of this new development is to make the citizenship process a bit more transparent and fair. WRS’s Jo Fahy spoke to Otto Hänseler, head of naturalization for the cantonal municipalities:
Trade unions sew up wins in textile factories Wednesday, 15 May, 2013Behind a groundbreaking accord to improve safety in textile factories are two global federations of trade unions which incidentally are both based in Switzerland. UNI Global Union and Industriall have been negotiating to get global clothing manufacturers to sign on—and they already have major multinationals on board: H&M, Marks and Spencer or Inditex, which owns Zara. Yet other big names haven’t joined so far. They have until today at midnight to do so. WRS’s Jo Fahy talks to Jenny Holdcroft, who’s Policy Director at Industriall, one of the two organizations that initiated the agreement:
Retailers sign up for more safety Wednesday, 15 May, 2013When a textile factory collapsed, killing over a thousand workers in Bangladesh last month, big fashion retailers like H&M and Benetton made a long awaited move. They’ve signed on to a binding agreement for better safety standards, and for the millions needed to implement it. Shoppers in the streets of Lausanne approve, but some critics are asking why it takes such tragedies to get results. WRS’s Lucas Chambers reports.
Swiss "forced" to talk tax info exchange with EU Tuesday, 14 May, 2013European Union finance ministers approved the mandate to negotiate a new agreement on taxation of savings with Switzerland, including automatic exchange of information. This in an effort to fight tax evasion. WRS’s Alex Helmick talked to Le Temps correspondent Richard Werly from Brussels where the EU finance ministers meeting took place:
Another one bites the dust at Sion FC Tuesday, 14 May, 2013Another manager has been fired at Sion Football Club. Despite the team being fifth in the 10-team Swiss league, eccentric owner Christian Constantin has let go his fifth manager—this season—and 30th since he took over in 2002. Reuters sports reporter Brian Homewood talks to WRS’s Alex Helmick:
Medical records online pique privacy issues Tuesday, 14 May, 2013Since yesterday, people in the canton of Geneva have been able to keep their medical records online and access them from a computer or smartphone. Although this is a first in Switzerland, it’s part of a nationwide policy to move toward cyber health. In a field where privacy is of the utmost importance, this system has brought up a lot of questions. WRS’s Jo Fahy spoke to Antoine Geissbühler, head doctor of Geneva University Hospital’s E-Health programme:
Working without permits lands couple in jail Tuesday, 14 May, 2013Two months in jail for working without work permits. That’s the punishment for a Brazilian couple arrested last December in Geneva. The canton is stepping up enforcement of a new regulation for the law on foreigners. But at a time when Geneva’s jails are bursting at the seams, some accuse the authorities of shooting themselves in the foot. WRS’s Lucas Chambers reports: