connect, grow & thrive.

Znüni News – Monday May 20

No woman at the top – at last month’s election three of the five state councillors were elected with a simple majority. In fourth place was Korinna Bärtsch leading us to hope that a woman would make it into the state council this time round. Unfortunately it was not to be as yesterday the remaining two slots went to Marcel Schwerzmann and Paul Winiker who were both reelected to the state council; which is remaining resolutely male and more centrist and to the right side of politics.

People did vote for a new underground bicycle park to be built near the train station. It will be able to house 1100 bikes and should be built by 2023 costs for the project will be around 15 million francs.

Bus stops in the city will be renovated and made more friendly for disabled people and people with prams. This will cost 40 million francs.

The AHV is getting a makeover. With the babyboomers about to start retiring the old age pension is under a lot of strain and is already in the red. This first injection of 2 billion swiss francs will help it along its way but steps will need to be taken if we want to continue receiving our old age pensions. Amongst them bringing the retirement age for women up to 65. This is a subject voters will need to come back to over and over again in the coming years.

Switzerland voted in favour of a stronger weapon reform in compliance with the EU much to the disappointment of the SVP who had seen this vote as a way to put a strain on the relationship between the EU and Switzerland.

Finally Switzerland made it to an honourable fourth place in the Eurovision Song Contest thanks to Luca Hänni and his song: She Got Me. A special shout out to Australia for their take on Frozen with interpretive dementors on stilts, by far the funniest moment of the evening!

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