Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Ice cream by boat on a picturesque Swiss lake

André van Sprundel is a successful businessman with an unusual hobby. He is the only person in the country who sells ice cream to bathers by boat. The son of a landlord, Van Sprundel grew up in the Klöntal valley in the eastern Swiss Alps. He did a business apprenticeship but was much more interested in IT and pursued further education in this field. As a result, his parents’ pub was one of the first establishments in Switzerland to have a website.  In 2000 he founded a company that provided IT staff, and in 2014 he took over his parents’ pub – always staying loyal to his hobby: sailing with his small daughter from shore to shore on his boat, the Ice Dream Express, and selling ice cream.  The Klöntal and its lake are close to Van Sprundel’s heart. “The rugged mountains, the narrow valley and the sparkling lake make me feel secure,” he says. “I have to come here at least once a week; if that isn’t possible, I look at the valley through the webcam.”  He has written a book about ...

Don’t stereotype young remainers. We fear for our futures, not our holidays | Lara Spirit

Our anger over Brexit is often dismissed. But we’re about to start a summer of action, gathering in leave areas across Britain

The current political crisis over Brexit has been a wake-up call for my generation: the doctrine that our parents and grandparents will leave behind a better world no longer holds. But, of course, not every young person feels this way. A significant minority – especially those in towns outside London and the south-east – do not necessarily share the enthusiasm of the 78% of young people who would back remain in a people’s vote on Brexit. And those that do will often have different reasons for their convictions too. We don’t want to leave them behind.

This summer the campaign I’m part of, Our Future Our Choice, will join a tour of the whole country, calling on politicians to let us be heard. We will be gathering in Wolverhampton, Sunderland, Leeds, Glasgow, Derby, Belfast and many more towns and cities over the summer, leading up to one more huge rally in London on 12 October.

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Millionaires in Switzerland still on the rise

Switzerland is home to the fourth-largest number of dollar millionaire households, according to a report by the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG). Worldwide, the number of such millionaires continues to rise. There are now some 500,000 millionaire households in Switzerland, BCG said, putting the Swiss in fourth place behind the US (around 15 million), China (1.3 million), and Japan (1.1 million). This marks a steady growth of riches in Switzerland: in 2016 the number of millionaire households was 358,500, according to another consultancy firm – seventh worldwide. Other reports have consistently shown that the numbers of “multi-millionaires” (with wealth of $5 million or more) are also rising, while Switzerland continues to enjoy the highest mean wealth of anywhere in the world. + Who are the richest people in Switzerland? Globally, the BCG report released on Thursday said that the past year had seen a 2% rise in the number of dollar millionaires; there are now 22.1 million of them.

Divided, pessimistic, angry: survey reveals bleak mood of pre-Brexit UK

‘I can’t recall such despair,’ says top pollster, and 72% of population fear divisions will get worse

Britain is a more polarised and pessimistic nation than it has been for decades, according to a survey that reveals a country torn apart by social class, geography and Brexit.

The survey by BritainThinks reveals an astonishing lack of faith in the political system among the British people, with less than 6% believing their politicians understand them. Some 75% say that UK politics is not fit for purpose.

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Minding the gap between the sexes in Switzerland

In Switzerland, equal rights for women and men are enshrined in the Federal Constitution – which is what voters wanted. But nearly 40 years after the popular vote of June 14, 1981, the goal of equality has yet to be achieved. Here are five key indicators illustrating day-to-day gender inequality in Switzerland. “Men and women have the right to equal pay for work of equal value,” states the constitutional article on equal rights. The law also expressly prohibits any on-the-job gender discrimination – especially with regard to wages. The official statistics, however, show a completely different reality. In 2016 (latest available data), the standardised median gross monthly wage in Switzerland was CHF6,011 ($6,051) for women and CHF6,830 for men, a difference of 12%. In the private sector alone, the difference was even greater. There, women earned 14.6% less than their male colleagues. Only part of this gap could be explained by objective factors such as differences in education ...

Swiss women farmers demand social security

In Switzerland, more than 31,000 women farmers receive little or no social protection. Their professional association has therefore launched an appeal together with Swissaid, calling for better social protection under the federal agricultural policy.  “While the whole of Switzerland is currently thinking about the situation of women, a group of women – women farmers – is regularly forgotten about,” said the Swiss Association of Women Farmers and Rural Women and Swissaid, the Swiss foundation for development cooperation, in Bern on Wednesday.  The two organisations presented how the issues of social security, political representation and the improvement of the legal situation of women farmers in Switzerland and worldwide are linked.  “Female farmers are responsible for 70% of the world’s food,” they said. “The insufficient social recognition is a disgrace, which must be corrected in Switzerland and around the world.” Worries  Female farmers work 63 hours a week, according to ...
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