connect, grow & thrive.

In The News – October 30

The federal council has released the date for the beginning of the building of the second tunnel through the Gotthard: 2020 but it won’t be open until 2027 and just to clarify this will be a one lane tunnel only. So there will be no improvement in traffic jams except when they are due to collisions in the tunnel, which happened last week, when then tunnel was closed for several hours after a car collided with an oncoming truck. The whole project will cost near 2 billion francs, as soon as it will be opened the other tunnel will be closed for renovation work, so two tunnels will not be functioning simultaneously before 2030.

Meanwhile the city is hoping to get its citizens to be more energy savvy by 2020. Renewable energy being used in the city should go from 54% in 2014 to 60% or more in 2020. They also hope to encourage local companies to produce their wares in a more energy efficient manner. The city is already entitled to call itself “Energy City” for its overall positive policies regarding the use of renewable energies.

Good news on the ecological, the otter is set to make a comeback in the canton. 30 years ago the otter was so endangered as to be considered near extinct in Switzerland but in the last 10 years the otters have made a comeback. Incredibly this was not thanks to some initiative but the otters wandered from Austria and France to repopulate the lakes and rivers. The fact that they have come back though is due to the fact that the rivers and lakes are much cleaner these days. So don’t be surprised if you spot on a walk one of these days.

Talking of animals, there has been a mouse plague in the region and according to central Swiss “wetterschmöker” Martin Holdener, who just won the title of Weather King, this means that there will be a really cold winter with lots of snow! His prognosis is that: “January will be so cold that even ants will be wanting to wear socks!”

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Living in Luzern organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.