Newspaper. The secret pact between Russia and Qatar, Weli’s projects, the sugar-salt war…

Ueli Maurer’s ambitions within the SVP, Lex Weber’s distortions and the debts of the Swiss Democrats are some of the headlines in Sunday’s press.

View of four copies of Sunday newspapers with Sonntags Zeitung, Sonntags Blick, Le Matin Dimanche and NZZ am Sonntag. (illustrative picture)


The main unconfirmed information in Keystone-ATS is:

Ueli Maurer did not say the last word

Outgoing SVP Federal Councilor Weli Maurer will continue to play a role in party politics. “I can imagine several speeches within the party,” the Zurich resident told the German-language weekly NZZ am Sonntag. Party leader Marco Chiesa confirms that Ueli Maurer will run for the SVP in 2023 after a long absence: “His regular appearance on our channels in the future is now the subject of discussion,” he said.

“Weli Maurer will continue to fight for the UDC,” says Domenik Ledergerber, president of the Zurich division, praising his qualities. “He is a vector of sympathy for the party. He knows how to mobilize and is well received by the population. If Ueli Maurer were to actually start an election campaign, it would be exceptional for a former member of the Federal Council.

A secret pact between Russia and Qatar?

The German-language newspaper SonntagsBlick, based on its research and documents, has developed plans to spy on Russian leader Vladimir Putin during his visit to Zurich for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Russia and Qatar would cooperate in secret to mutually ensure the organization of the 2018 and 2022 editions. Qatar wanted to ensure that its Russian partners really followed through on their word.

Debts among the Swiss Democrats

The Swiss Democrats (DS) are in debt. The radical right party’s accounts owed 54,000 francs in mid-November, according to SonntagsBlick, which has obtained internal documents. The situation is so dangerous that the SD had to fire its last remaining secretary. “Due to the catastrophic financial situation, it is no longer possible to manage a professional general secretariat,” co-chair Christoph Spies notes in his report.

To fill the treasury, the minimum membership fee for party members was increased from 20 francs to 50 francs. Christoph Spiess is belligerent: “I am convinced that the DS will continue to exist and that better times may come,” he comments.

The war on sugar: Switzerland relies on diplomacy

Producers of dairy products such as sodas and quark are committing to adding less sugar to their products. “All participating companies are committed to achieving a 10% sugar reduction by the end of 2024,” a spokeswoman for the Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (FSVO) told NZZ am Sonntag. This measure is implemented within the framework of the Milan Declaration.

While other countries are introducing a sugar tax, Switzerland is betting on negotiations with the industry. At first only muesli and yogurts were affected. Now it is added with other important suppliers of sugar, especially soda. The newspaper warns that the share of sugar in all sugary drinks will not decrease. The company’s portfolio is dominant.

The war on salt: not won

The confederation wanted to agree with the industry on measures to reduce salt in food. Soup and salad dressings were targeted. According to SonntagsZeitung, the negotiations have failed. “Reduction targets were proposed but unfortunately not supported by the industry,” said Liliane Bruggmann, head of the food sector at the Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (OSAV).

Therefore, some market leaders were reluctant to commit to salt reduction. However, the Confederation is considering imposing a salt reduction on companies. “The FSVO will examine the regulatory measures,” Ms. Bruggmann said. The Office has not yet determined for which products such measures would be appropriate and feasible.

The distorting effect of Lex Weber in Verbier

The distorting influence of Lex Weber is felt in Verbier. Under this law, apartments built before it was passed in 2012 can be sold as second homes, even if the owner makes it their primary residence. Le Matin Dimanche says the value of part-year chalets and apartments in luxury resorts has exploded over the decade, while prime residences have remained stable.

Thus, an Italian resident sold his apartment registered as a second home for more than 32,000 francs per square meter, and according to a Romande broker, he bought a residence as a main residence for 16,000 francs per square meter. The resident filled his bank account with 4 million with this single transaction.

Necessary “secret” abortions

For some women, a positive pregnancy test is life-threatening. In these cases, the ability to perform a secret abortion is very important. “Most women who come for counseling are afraid of being stigmatized,” comments Claudia Maurer, team leader at the Biel Center for Sexual Health. In 2021, 200 out of 11,000 interventions in the country were carried out secretly.

Although it was possible to register women in hospitals even with pseudonyms or numbers, until recently health insurance funds could not guarantee or technically enforce confidentiality in all cases.

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