152 Million In 2004 a Swiss paleontologist said
hundreds of dinosaur prints dating back this time had been
discovered in the Jura mountains in the northwest of Switzerland.
14600BC-14100BC A canine jaw, dating to this time,
was found in Switzerland in 1873. Analysis in 2010 indicated the age
of the bone and proved humans were keeping dogs at this time.
(SFC, 8/4/10, p.A2)
3063BC In 2010 Swiss archaeologists in
Zurich said they have unearthed a 5,000-year-old door that may be
one of the oldest ever found in Europe. Using tree rings to
determine its age, they believed the door could have been made in
the year 3,063 BC, around the time that construction on Britain's
world famous Stonehenge monument began.
c45BC Colonia Julia Equestris, a veterans’ colony,
was founded in what is now Nyon, Switzerland. Nyon is derived from
the Celtic name Noviodunum.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.10)
c111AD A Roman amphitheater was built at Nyon. An
inscription at the site had a dedication to the emperor Trajan.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.10)
287 Maurice (Mauritius), leader
of the legendary Roman Theban Legion in the 3rd century, was
believed executed at Agaunum, Switzerland, after refusing an order
by Roman Emperor Maximian to harass local Christians. Because of his
name and native land, St. Maurice had been portrayed as black ever
since the 12th century.
563 A tsunami devastated
Geneva. It was generated by a massive rockfall on what was called
(Econ, 11/3/12, p.79)
777 A wealthy trader and
landowner named Totone donated Campione, an Italian enclave on the
shores of Switzerland's Lake Lugano, to the monastery of
Sant'Ambrogio in Milan, which became part of Italy in 1797. It was
later renamed Campione d'Italia, under the rule of dictator Benito
Mussolini. A gaming establishment was first opened in Campione in
1917, but its main purpose was to spy on foreign diplomats during
World War I, and it closed two years later. It reopened in 1933
thanks to a decree, which remains in effect, requiring the casino
proceeds to cover all municipal costs. In 2020 the enclave is due to
become part of the European Union customs area, raising practical
questions about interactions with non-EU member Switzerland.
990 A set of instructions on
chess, the Versus de Scachis (Poem About Chess), emerged in
Switzerland about this time. The game had begun in India before the
(Arch, 1/05, p.40)(Econ, 10/29/11, p.97)
1291 Aug 1, The Everlasting
League formed and became the basis of Swiss Confederation. The
people of the 3 small cantons (Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden) formed a
co-operative pact called the Bundesbrief following the death of
Habsburg Emp. Rudolf I.
(Econ, 2/14/04, Survey p.6)
1294 Jun 30, Jews were expelled
from Bern, Switzerland.
1315 Nov 15, Swiss soldiers
ambushed and slaughtered invading Austrians in the battle of
1347-1350 The Black Death: A Genoese trading post
in the Crimea was besieged by an army of Kipchaks from Hungary and
Mongols from the East. The latter brought with them a new form of
plague, Yersinia pestis. Infected dead bodies were catapulted into
the Genoese town. One Genoese ship managed to escape and brought the
disease to Messina, Sicily. The disease quickly became an epidemic.
It moved over the next few years to northern Italy, North Africa,
France, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, the Low
countries, England, Scandinavia and the Baltic. There were lesser
outbreaks in many cities for the next twenty years. An estimated 25
million died in Europe and economic depression followed. In 2005
John Kelly authored “The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the
Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time."
(NG, 5/88, p.678)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)(SSFC,
3/6/05, p.B1)(SFC, 10/13/11, p.A6)
1348 Sep 21, Jews in Zurich
Switzerland were accused of poisoning wells.
1348 Nov 15, Rudolph of Oron, a
bailiff in Lausanne, wrote a letter to the Strasbourg
authorities in which he declared that certain Jews of Lausanne had
confessed to poisoning all the drinking wells in the Rhine Valley
that somehow selectively killed only Christians.
1349 Jan 9, In Basel,
Switzerland, 700 Jews were burned alive in their houses.
1349 Feb 13, Jews were expelled
from Burgsdorf, Switzerland.
1349 Feb 22, Jews were expelled
from Zurich, Switzerland.
1357 In Switzerland Konrad
Mueller killed Heinrich Stucki. To atone Mueller promised to always
pay to keep an eternal lamp lit. In 2013 a court in Glarus canton
ruled that the current farm owner no longer has to pay $76 each year
for oil and candles because Swiss mortgage reforms in the mid-19th
century made the practice invalid.
(SFC, 1/9/13, p.A2)
1365 Basel, Switzerland, was
wrecked by an earthquake.
1378 Sep 20, The election of
Robert of Geneva as anti-pope by discontented cardinals created a
great schism in the Catholic church.
1386 The counts of Habsburg
tried to reach their goals by military force but were again defeated
by Swiss forces at the battle of Sempach.
1388 The counts of Habsburg
tried to reach their goals by military force but were again defeated
by Swiss forces at the battle of Naefels.
1427 May 10, Jews were expelled
from Berne, Switzerland.
1444 Aug 26, In the Battle of
St. Jakob an der Birs, fought near Basel in Switzerland, a Swiss
force of some 1,600 soldiers stopped some 30,000 French mercenaries
on their way to relieve a siege of Zurich.
1460 Apr 4, University of
Basle, Switzerland, formed.
1476 The Swiss overcame
Burgundy’s Charles the Bold at the Battle of Murten.
(SSFC, 5/26/02, p.C5)
1477 Jan 5, Swiss troops
defeated the forces under Charles the Bold of Burgundy at the Battle
1478 The Swiss began annexing
the southern approaches to the strategic and lucrative St. Gothard
Pass over the Alps.
(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.T4)
1489 Apr 6, Hans Waldmann,
Swiss military, mayor (Zurich), was beheaded.
1493 May 1, Phillippus
Paracelsus (d.1541), physician and alchemist, was born in
Switzerland. He was christened as Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus
Bombastus von Hohenheim.
(HN, 5/1/98)(NH, 6/00, p.30,34)(MC, 5/1/02)
1494 Carol Verardi in Basel
published an illustrated report of the first expedition to the new
world by Christopher Columbus.
1506 Jan 22, The Swiss Guard
mercenaries, summoned by Pope Julius II to protect the pope and the
Vatican, arrived in Rome. In 2006 Robert Royal authored “The Pope’s
(USAT, 5/6/98, p.6A)(AP, 1/22/06)(WSJ, 4/14/06,
1507 Jan 15, Johann Oporinus
[Herbster], Swiss book publisher (Koran), was born.
1513 The Swiss completed the
acquisition of the southern province of Ticino.
(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.T4)
1515 Sep 13, King Francis of
France defeated the Swiss army under Cardinal Matthias Schiner at
Marignano, northern Italy. Switzerland was last involved in a war.
French armies defeated the Swiss and Venetians at the Battle of
Marignano and Milan fell to the French. Francis I conquered
Lombardy in northern Italy.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.11)(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)(HN,
1515 Hans Holbein the Younger
arrived in Basel, the European center of book publishing. The city
in 1997 owned 340 prints by Holbein.
(WSJ, 6/24/97, p.A20)
1516 Mar 26, Konrad von Gesner,
naturalist (Bibliotheca Universalis), was born in Zurich,
1516 Hans Holbein painted a
wooden shingle as a sort of advertisement for the schoolmaster
Oswald Geishüsler. It marked the beginning of "profane" painting in
(WSJ, 6/24/97, p.A20)
1518 Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss
clergyman, supported Martin Luther’s Reformation.
1523 Hans Holbein completed the
first of several portraits of Erasmus in Basel. He also began the
design of 51 plates on the "Dance of Death," which reflected ideas
of the Reformation.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.12)(WSJ, 6/24/97, p.A20)
1524 Ulrich Zwingli abolished
the Catholic mass in Zurich.
1529 Jun 9, Zurich declared war
on Catholic cantons.
1529 Oct 1-3, Martin Luther met
with Huldrych Zwingli.
1531 Oct 11, The Catholics
defeated the Protestants at Kappel during Switzerland’s second civil
1531 Oct 11, Huldrych Zwingli,
Swiss church reformer (Zwinglian), died. Ulrich Zwingli, Swiss
Protestant reformer, was killed in the Swiss civil war between the
Protestant and Catholic cantons.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.14)(MC, 10/11/01)
1531 Nov 23, Peace of Kappel
ended the second civil war in Switzerland.
1535 Oct 4, The 1st full
English translation of the Bible was printed in Switzerland. Miles
Coverdale’s translation of the Bible into English (from Dutch and
Latin) was the first complete version in English and was dedicated
to Henry VIII.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.15)(MC, 10/4/01)
1538 May 26, Geneva threw out
John Calvin and his zealots. Calvin was exiled from Geneva for three
years and lived in Strasbourg.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.15)(MC, 5/26/02)
1540 The pulmonary circulation
of the blood was discovered by Michael Servetus, a Spanish
theologian and physician. In 1553 he was burned at the stake in
Geneva for heresy.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.16)(WSJ, 9/18/02, p.D8)
1541 Sep 24, Philippus Aureolus
Paracelsus (b.1493), Swiss alchemist, physician and theologian,
died. The 1835 poem "Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim" by Robert
Browning was based on the life of Paracelsus. In 2006 Philip Ball
authored "The Devil’s Doctor: Paracelsus and the Renaissance World
of Magic and Science."
1554 John Knox fled to Geneva
where he met Jean Calvin.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.18)
1527 Theophrastus von Hohenheim
established chemotherapy and the modern school of medical thinking
at the Univ. of Basel in Switzerland.
1529 Bernardino Luini, a pupil
of Leonardo da Vinci, completed his fresco of the Passion and
Crucifixion at the Santa Maria degli Angioli church in Lugano.
(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.T4)
1536 May 21, The Reformation
was officially adopted in Geneva, Switzerland.
1540 The pulmonary circulation
of the blood was discovered by Michael Servetus, a Spanish
theologian and physician. In 1553 he was burned at the stake in
Geneva for heresy.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.16)(WSJ, 9/18/02, p.D8)
1541 Sep 23, Philippus Aureolus
Paracelsus (b.c1493), Swiss physician and alchemist, died at 47. The
1835 poem "Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim" by Robert Browning
was based on the life of Paracelsus.
(HC, 1/9/98)(WUD, 1994, p.1045)(MC, 9/23/01)
1553 Oct 27, Michael Servetus
(b.1511), Spanish theologian and physician, was burnt for heresy in
Geneva, Switzerland. His last book "Christianismi Restitutio"
included a chapter on the pulmonary circulation of blood. In 2002
Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone authored "Out of the Flames." [see
(HN, 10/27/98)(WSJ, 9/18/02, p.D8)(WSJ, 1/18/08,
1554-1562 Pierre Eskrich (aka Pierre DuVase), a
French illustrator, produced a collection of 218 bird paintings. He
had fled Lyon to Geneva to escape the Edict of Chateaubriand (1551),
a crackdown on Protestantism in France.
(SFC, 3/17/06, p.E7)
1559 May 13, Excavated corpse
of heretic David Jorisz was burned in Basel.
1564 May 27, John Calvin (54),
one of the dominant figures of the Protestant Reformation, died in
(HN, 5/27/99)(MC, 5/27/02)
1570 The hotel Crusch Alva in
Zuoz in the Engadine dates back to this time.
(Hem., 2/97, p.28)
1622 Dec 28, Francois de Sales
(55), French bishop of Geneva, writer and saint, died.
1648 Oct 24, Switzerland's
independence was recognized with the Peace of Westphalia.
1654-1705 Jacob Bernouilli, Swiss mathematician
and physicist. The Bernouilli effect is named after him.
(WUD, 1994, p.141)
1667-1748 Johan Bernouilli, Swiss mathematician,
brother of Jacob.
(WUD, 1994, p.141)
1684 Jan 11, In Switzerland
this day “was so frightfully cold that all of the communion wine
froze," said an entry by Brother Josef Dietrich, governor and
"weatherman" of the Einsiedeln Monastery. The Einsiedeln abbots,
princes within the Holy Roman Empire until 1798, were powerful
leaders who ruled over large swaths of central Switzerland's
1693 The history of the Amish
church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss
and Alsatian Anabaptists led by Jakob Ammann (1656-1730).
1700 Jan 29, Daniel Bernoulli,
mathematician (10 time French award), was born in Basel,
1708 Oct 16, Albrecht von
Haller, Swiss experimental physiologist, was born.
1712 Jun 28, Jean-Jacques
Rousseau (d.1778), writer and philosopher, was born in Geneva,
Switzerland. His books include "The Social Contract" (1762) and
1714 Sep 7, In Baden,
Switzerland, Charles VI signed the Treaty of Baden, also called the
Peace of Baden, on behalf of the Holy Roman Empire. It was one of
the agreements that concluded the War of the Spanish Succession.
1724 May 18, Johann K. Amman
(54), Swiss-Dutch doctor for deaf-mutes, died.
1735 Jehan-Jacques Blancpain
started making watches in Villeret, Switzerland. The firm later
became part of the Swatch Group.
1738 Daniel Bernouilli
(1700-1782), Swiss physicist, mathematician and son of Johan
explained how lift is created, as in a backward spinning golf ball,
by a difference of air pressures. He is known for the Bernouilli
(WUD, 1994, p.141)(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.A12)
1741-1801 Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss theologian:
"I am prejudiced in favor of him who, without impudence, can ask
boldly. He has faith in humanity, and faith in himself. No one who
is not accustomed to give grandly can ask nobly and with boldness."
1754 The Carouge area of Geneva
was ceded to the Kingdom of Sardinia.
(SSFC, 1/7/01, p.T8)
1761 Dec 1, Madame Tussaud,
Swiss-born modeler in wax, was born. She founded the world-famous
exhibition in London's Baker Street. [see Dec 7]
1761 Dec 7, Madame Tussaud
[Marie Grosholtz], creator of the wax museum, was born. [see Dec 1]
1767 Horace de Saussure, Swiss
scientist, developed a solar cooker using the greenhouse effect, in
the form of several glass boxes set inside one another and placed on
a dark surface.
(SFC, 7/11/07, p.F5)
1782 Mar 4, Johann Wyss, Swiss
folklorist, writer (Swiss Family Robinson), was born.
1782 In Switzerland Anna Goeldi
was beheaded as a witch for an alleged case of poisoning. A museum
on Goeldi was opened in Mollis in 2007 on the 225th anniversary of
her death. In 2008 the canton of Glarus said she should be
exonerated because the execution was a miscarriage of justice.
Goeldi was exonerated on August 27, 2008.
(AP, 6/11/08)(AP, 8/27/08)
1783 Sep 18, Leonhard Euler
(b.1707), Swiss-born mathematician, died in St. Petersburg, Russia.
His work estalished calculus as the basic tool of the mathematical
sciences. Euler had introduced latin squares as a new kind of magic
squares. It later formed the basis for the “sudoku" number game. In
2016 Ronald Calinger authored “Leonhard Euler: Mathematical Genius
in the Enlightenment."
p.67)(Econ, 1/9/16, p.72)
1787 Aug 2, Horace de Saussure,
Swiss scientist, reached the top of Mont Blanc.
1793 May 20, Charles Bonnet
(b.1720) naturalist and philosophical writer, died in Geneva. He is
responsible for coining the term phyllotaxis to describe the
arrangement of leaves on a plant. Bonnet was from a French family
driven into the Geneva region by the religious persecution in the
1797 Switzerland began its the
three-week "Fete des Vignerons," a once-in-a-generation celebration
of its winemakers. Its roots go back a century further when
winemakers used to shame the country's worst vineyard worker each
year by crowning them in front of the church at Vevey, in the heart
of the wine-producing canton of Vaud.
1798 Mar 29, Republic of
1798 Henri Jomini of
Switzerland began his military career, volunteering his services to
the French Army. He used the campaigns of Napoleon to formulate
theories of warfare that influenced military commanders through much
of the 19th century. With the peace of Amiens, he left the army and
wrote his Treatise of Grand Military Operations. The book impressed
Napoleon enough to have Jomini appointed a staff colonel in 1805,
Jomini having volunteered again in 1804. Jomini rose to become chief
of staff under Marshall Ney, but left the French army to fight for
Russia in 1813 as a general and aide-de-camp of Alexander I. By the
time of his death in 1869, he had written several other works,
organized the Russian military academy and advised kings on tactics
for their various military campaigns.
1803 Feb 15, John Augustus
Sutter (d.1880), Swiss-US colonist (New Helvetia, Ca., Sutter Mill),
1803-1933 Carouge creamware ceramics were produced
by local artisans.
(SSFC, 1/7/01, p.T8)
1806 In Switzerland a landslide
into Lake Lauerz triggered a tsunami 20 meters high.
(Econ, 11/3/12, p.79)
1807 May 28, Jean Louis Agassiz
(d.1873), Swiss naturalist and educator, was born. He wrote a
succession of papers  outlining continental glaciation not
only of Europe but of North America.
(DD-EVTT, p.129)(AHD,1971, p.24)(HN, 5/28/01)
1809 May 5, Citizenship was
denied to Jews of Canton of Aargau, Switzerland.
1812 Swiss explorer Jean Louis
Burckhardt rediscovered the ancient city of Petra in present-day
1815 Feb 3, World's 1st
commercial cheese factory was established, in Switzerland.
1815 The city-state of Geneva,
briefly the capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy, and then a republic,
became part of the Confederation of Switzerland.
(Hem., 1/96, p.81)
1815 Switzerland became
(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)
1816 Lord Byron and guests
gathered at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva, Switz. It was here
that Byron challenged his guests to write a ghost story. This led
Mary Shelley to produce Frankenstein in 1818 and John Polidori to
create his short story “The Vampyre" (1819).
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.75)
1818 May 25, Jacob Christoph
Burckhardt (d.1897), Swiss cultural historian, was born. "The people
no longer believe in principles, but will probably periodically
believe in saviors." "Neither in the life of the individual nor in
that of mankind is it desirable to know the future."
(AP, 5/6/98)(AP, 6/11/98)(SC, 5/25/02)
1818 Jun 16, An ice-dammed lake
in the Val de Bagnes above Martigny broke through its barrier
causing many deaths. This event led Jean de Charpentier to focus on
Swiss glaciers and then influence Louis Agassiz with his ideas
regarding glacier development.
1821 Ignatz Venetz, Swiss civil
engineer, presented a paper titled “Temperature Variation in the
Swiss Alps" to the Helvetic Society of Natural Sciences, in which he
described retreating ice glaciers and acknowledged Jean-Pierre
Perraudin, a hunter and mountain guide, as the originator of the
idea that a glacier had once occupied the full length of the Val de
Bagnes. In 1833 Jean de Charpentier (1786-1855), a German-Swiss
geologist, arranged to have the paper published.
1821-1881 Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss
critic: "The man who has no inner life is the slave of his
1823 Steam powered shipping
began on Lake Geneva.
(SFEC, 7/19/98, p.T3)
1827 Feb 17, Johann Heinrich
Pestalozzi (81), Swiss educator, died.
1827 Jun 12, Johanna Spyri
(d.1901), Swiss author, was born as Johanna Louise Heusser. She is
best known for her novel Heidi, the story of a young girl who leave
her home in the Swiss Alps for adventures in the world below. [see
June 12, 1829]
(WUD, 1994 p.1379)(HN, 6/12/99)
1828 May 8, Jean Henri Dunant
(d.1910), Swiss philanthropist, was born. He founded the Int’l.
Committee of the Red Cross and was the first recipient (jointly) of
the Nobel Peace Prize.
1829 Jun 12, Johanna Spyri
(d.1901), Swiss author (Heidi), was born. [see June 12, 1827]
1837 Louis Agassiz (1807-1873),
Swiss paleontologist, proposed to the Helvetic Society that ancient
glaciers had not only flowed outward from the Alps, but that even
larger glaciers had simultaneously encroached southward on the
plains and mountains of Europe, Asia and North America, smothering
the entire northern hemisphere in a prolonged Ice Age.
(ON, 10/08, p.12)
1839 Swiss scientist Louis
Agassiz described a fossil fish that had been found in Permian marl
slate near Durham, northern England. He named it coelacanthus. Over
the decades similar fossils were found dating from around 380
million to 70 million years ago.
(Econ, 12/14/13, IL p.10)
1840 Apr 27, Edward Whymper
(d.1911), the first person to climb the Matterhorn (1865) on the
border of Switzerland and Italy, was born.
1847 A religious quarrel led to
a short Swiss civil war.
(Econ, 2/14/04, Survey p.6)
1848 A Swiss constitution was
enacted that included a mandate for neutrality. It copied almost
wholesale the American constitution. It was revised in 1874. A new
one was adopted in 1999.
(SFC, 7/6/99, p.C6)(SFC, 7/18/02, p.A15)(Econ,
2/14/04, Survey p.7)(Econ, 4/23/11, SR p.6)
1850 Apr 16, Marie [Gresholtz]
Tussaud (89), Swiss-born maker of wax figures, died.
1850 Switzerland established a
currency union to replace multiple cantonal currencies.
(Econ, 7/19/14, p.49)
1852 Nov 30, Jean Henri Dunant
(1828-1910), Swiss Calvinist, founded the Geneva branch of the YMCA.
In 1855 he took part in the Paris meeting devoted to the founding of
its international organization.
1855 Dec 12, Jean de
Charpentier (b.1786), a German-Swiss geologist, died in Bex,
1855 The World Alliance
of the YMCA was established at the first International Conference
held in Paris. Jean Henri Dunant (1828-1910), Swiss Calvinist,
founded the Geneva branch of the YMCA in 1852. In 1855 he took part
in the Paris meeting devoted to the founding of its international
1859 Jun 24, At the Battle of
Solferino, also known as the Battle of the Three Sovereigns, the
French army led by Napoleon III defeated the Austrian army under
Franz Joseph I in northern Italy. Some 6,000 men died in the battle
and thousands of wounded were effectively abandoned as witnessed by
Henri Dunant (31), a Swiss businessman seeking Napoleon for a land
development proposal. In 1862 Dunant published “A Memory of
Solferino" and began a campaign for a volunteer society to aid
(HN, 6/24/99)(ON, 4/08, p.11)
1861 Italy and Switzerland drew
a border line through the Monte Rosa Masif of the Alps with the line
at several places set at the watershed of glaciers. In 2009
shrinking glaciers due to global warming forced the line to be
(Econ, 4/18/09, p.56)
1862 Nov, Jean Henri Dunant
(1828-1910) published "A Memory of Solferino." His ideas about
creation of a volunteer committee to care for war-wounded led to the
creation in 1863 of the Permanent International Committee for Relief
to Wounded Combatants, later called the International Red Cross.
Dunant, a Swiss businessman, had witnessed the plight of thousands
of wounded left helpless on the battlefield at Solferino, Italy, on
June 24, 1859. Organizing local volunteers to help, Dunant
brought aid to as many of the victims as he could.
(WUD, 1994, p.442)(HNQ, 9/16/99)(ON, 4/08, p.11)
1863 Feb 9, Henri Dunant
(1828-1910) addressed the Geneva Society for Public Welfare and
asked the members to form a volunteer society to aid wounded
soldiers. The Intl. Committee of Red Cross (Nobel 1917, 1944, 1963)
was formed in Geneva, Switz. The red cross design based on the Swiss
flag with the colors reversed.
(ON, 4/08, p.11)(www.redcross.org)(SFC, 6/20/06,
1863 The first road to Vissoie
in the Val d’Anniviers was built.
(SFEC, 5/9/99, p.T14)
1864 Mar 19, Alexandre Calame
(b.1810), Swiss painter, died in Menton, France.
1864 Aug 8, The 1st Geneva
Convention was issued on protecting the war wounded.
1864 Aug 22, In Geneva,
Switzerland, representatives of 12 nations agreed to sign the First
Geneva Contention “for the Amelioration of the Condition of the
Wounded in Armies in the Field." By 1866 twenty countries had
signed. 194 states were signatories as of 2008.
(ON, 4/08, p.12)
1865 Jul 14, Edward Whymper,
Charles Hudson, Michel Croz, and Douglas Hadow became the 1st to
climb the Matterhorn, on the border of Switzerland and Italy. Only
Edward Whymper survived the descent.
1865 Dec 23, France, Belgium,
Italy and Switzerland formed the Latin Monetary Union (LMU). It was
a 19th century attempt to unify several European currencies into a
single currency that could be used in all the member states, at a
time when most national currencies were still made out of gold and
silver. Spain and Greece joined in 1868. It quickly weakened as
members pursued their own economic policies. It was disbanded in
1867 In Switzerland Henri
Nestlé was able to produce a viable powdered milk product by this
time which saved the life of a premature baby.
(Econ, 1/7/17, p.49)
1870 Jul 30, Clara Barton
departed for field with the Red Cross following the French
declaration of war against Prussia. In Basle Antoinette Margot (27)
joined her as an aide and interpreter.
(ON, 8/12, p.11)
1872 Sep 14, Britain paid US
$15 million for damages during Civil War. The British government
paid £3 million in damages to the United States in compensation for
building the Confederate commerce-raider Alabama. The confederate
navy‘s Alabama was built at the Birkenhead shipyards. Despite its
official neutrality during the American Civil War, Britain allowed
the warship to leave port, and it subsequently played havoc with
Federal shipping. The U.S. claimed compensation, and a Court of
Arbitration at Geneva agreed, setting the amount at £3 million.
(HNQ, 9/2/00)(ON, 9/01, p.12)
1872-1887 The Bad Ragaz resort helped revitalize
Johanna Spyri, author of the "Heidi."
(SFEC, 9/24/00, p.T6)
1873 The Lake Geneva Gen’l.
Shipping Co. was founded. The 232-sq ml lake is bordered by
Switzerland and France.
(SFEC, 7/19/98, p.T3)
1874 May 29, The present
constitution of Switzerland took effect.
1874 Oct 9, In Switzerland the
Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established by the Treaty of Bern.
Prior to this each country had to prepare a separate postal treaty
with other nations if it wished to carry international mail to or
1875 Jul 26, Carl Jung
(d.1961), Swiss psychiatrist and analytical psychologist who
identified the introvert and extrovert types, was born in Kesswil,
Switzerland. He saw the I Ching as a tool to help tune into the
noncausal connectedness of the universe-- what he called
(NH, 9/97, p.13)(WUD, 1994, p.774)(SFEC,10/19/97,
BR p.3)(HN, 7/26/98)
1877 Jul 2, Herman Hesse
(d.1962), German philosopher poet and author, was born in
Switzerland. His work included "Steppenwolf" and he won the Nobel
Prize in literature in 1946.
(HN, 7/2/99)(WUD, 1994, p.666)(SC, 7/2/02)
1879 Jun 27, Beata Margarida
Bays (b.1815), Swiss Catholic Member of the Third Order of San
Francisco, died. In 2019 she was canonized as a Catholic saint.
1879 Dec 18, Paul Klee
(d.1940), Swiss abstract painter best known for The Mocker Mocked,
1880 "Heidi’s Years of
Wandering and Learning" was published. It was later made famous by a
film version with Shirley Temple. It was partly set in Maienfeld,
Switzerland. Johanna Spyri authored the 2-volume Heidi novel
published in 1880-1881. The 2nd volume was titled "Heidi Makes Use
of Her Experience."
(WSJ, 10/2/97, p.A11)(SFEC, 9/24/00, p.T6)(SFC,
1881-1882 Dr. Muller of Germany was said to be
working at the Swiss Geisenheim viticultural station when he made
the crossing that joined the late-ripening Riesling and the
early-ripening and prolific Silvaner`. The grape became know as
Muller-Thurgau. Müller-Thurgau entered the well-kept records of
Germany's vineyards in 1921, but it was not until a major symposium
on the crossing was held at Alzey in 1938 that it gained any
1882 May 20, The St.
Gotthard-railroad tunnel opened between Switzerland and Italy.
1882 The Hotel Weisshorn was
built in the Val d'Anniviers by an Englishman who brought in all
required materials by mule.
(SFEC, 5/9/99, p.T14)
1883 Nov 11, Ernest Ansermet,
conductor, was born in Vevey, Switzerland.
1884 Jan 28, Jean Felix
Piccard, scientist, explorer (balloonist), was born in Switzerland.
1884 Nov 8, Hermann Rorshach,
Swiss psychiatrist, was born. He was the inventor of the inkblot
1885 The Brissago Islands on
Lago Maggiore were bought by a Russian baroness. she built a villa
there to house her salon of artists and writers.
(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.T5)
1886 May 10, Karl Barth
(d.1966), Swiss theologian, was born. "Conscience is the perfect
interpreter of life."
(AP, 3/9/01)(HN, 5/10/02)
1886 Sep 9, The Berne
International Copyright Convention took place at the instigation of
Victor Hugo and backed the individual copyright laws of the European
states. It was updated in 1971. In 1993 the Brussels directive
brought in a Europe-wide 70-year rule.
(HN, 9/9/00)(WSJ, 1/31/02,
1886 The Forces Motrices power
station was built over the Rhone in Geneva.
(SSFC, 1/7/01, p.T8)
1887 Oct 6, Charles-Edouard
Jeanneret (d.1965), aka Le Corbusier, Swiss-born French architect
and city planner, was born. He became known for trenchantly stated
principles, such as "a house is a machine for living in" and "a
curved street is a donkey track, a straight street, a road for men."
1887 The Marxist Hunchakian
Revolutionary Party, called the Hunchaks, was founded in Geneva,
Switzerland by Armenians from Russia.
1887 A. Eugen Fick, a Swiss
physician, published the results of experiments with glass lenses
that fit over the entire eye, the first contact lenses.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R21)
1888 Dr. Eugen Frick made the
first set of contact lenses.
(SFEC, 1/24/99, Z1 p.8)
1890 Jul 7, In Switzerland
Henri Nestlé (b.1814), German-born Swiss confectioner and the
founder of Nestlé, died in Montreux.
1890 Bobsled racing was
introduced at St. Moritz, Switz.
(SSFC, 1/23/05, p.E14)
1892 The Brienz Rothornbahn
steam-powered cog-wheeled train began operating a 5-mile run from
Brienz to the 7,700 Rothorn mountain top.
(SFEC, 12/1/96, p.T5)
1893 Aug 20, Shechita (ritual
slaughtering) was prohibited in Switzerland.
1894 Ferdinand Hodler
(1853-1918), Swiss painter, created a painting 10 meters high for
the Exposition in Antwerp. It depicted the story of the 1865 descent
of Edward Whymper (1840-1911) after he became the first man to climb
the Matterhorn. Four of his party died. Hodler allowed the painting
to be cut up and it’s now in a museum in Berne.
1896 Oct 30, Kaspar Wicki,
Swiss inventor, received Swiss patent Nr. 13329 for a key
configuration for the concertina, that made fingering identical in
1896 Antoine Borel, San
Francisco banker and Swiss consul, purchased the medieval castle of
Gorgier in the Canton of Neuchatel, Switzerland,.
(Ind, 4/5/03, 5A)
1896 F. Hoffman-La Roche &
Co. was founded in Switzerland.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.A10)
1897 The first Zionist Congress
was held in Basel, Switzerland.
(SFEC, 4/26/98, BR p.1)
1898 Feb 14, Fritz Zwicky,
Swiss astronomer (super nova), was born.
1898 Aug 13, Sigmund Freud (42)
signed into the Schweizerhaus, a Swiss Alps inn, with Minna Bernays
(33), his wife’s sister, and registered her as his wife.
(SFC, 12/25/06, p.A23)
1900 May 19, Simplon Tunnel
opened as the world's longest railroad tunnel at 12 miles; it linked
Italy & Switzerland through the Alps.
(DT internet 5/19/97)
1901 Jul 7, Johanna Spyri,
author of the Heidi books, died.
(SFC, 7/5/01, p.C7)
1901 Oct 10, Alberto Giacometti
(d.1966), sculptor and painter, was born in Borgonovo, Switzerland.
He was later quoted saying "there is less reality in the work of
contemporary sculptors than in tin soldiers in toy shop windows."
His biography was written by David Sylvester and titled: "Looking At
Giacometti." Another biography by James Lord was titled:
"Giacometti: A Biography."
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.BR-4)(WSJ, 9/30/96, p.A14)(HN,
10/10/01)(WSJ, 12/19/01, p.A16)
1901 Henry Dunant (1828-1910),
Swiss businessman, won the 1st Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in
establishing the Int’l. Red Cross and the First Geneva Convention
covering treatment of those wounded in war. The prize was shared
with Frederic Passy (1822-1912), French economist, for his efforts
toward international peace.
1903 Jun 19, The young school
teacher, Benito Mussolini, was placed under investigation by police
in Berne, Switzerland.
1905 Nestlé S.A. originated in
a merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company for milk products
established in 1866 by the Page Brothers in Cham, Switzerland, and
the Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé Company set up in 1866 by Henri
Nestlé to provide an infant food product.
1905 Jean Lanfray, a Swiss
laborer, murdered his wife and children after drinking 2 glasses of
absinthe. The murder led to a ban on the sale of absinthe. The ban
was lifted in 2005.
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.A3)(SFC, 11/4/04, p.A2)
1906 Jan 11, Albert Hoffmann,
Switzerland, chemist (discovered LSD in 1943), was born.
1907-1917 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin frequently lived
(WSJ, 12/1/97, p.A18)
1908 Jacques Brandenberger, a
Swiss chemist, came up with cellophane when he tried to invent a
stain-proof tablecloth. [2nd source says 1912]
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.E5)(SFEC, 5/23/99, p.B7)
1909 Aug 21, C. Dillon Douglas,
US Secretary of Treasury (1961-65), was born in Geneva, Switz.
1910 Oct 30, Jean Henri Dunant
(b.1828), Swiss philanthropist, died. His book “A Memory of
Solferino" (1862) led to the foundation of the Int’l. Committee of
the Red Cross. He was the first recipient (jointly) of the Nobel
1910 In Switzerland Kaspar
Winkler founded SIKA, a building materials firm. He had invented a
compound used to waterproof the Gotthard railway tunnel under the
1911 May 15, Max Frisch
(d.1991), Swiss architect and writer, was born.
1911 Eugene Bleuler, Swiss
psychiatrist, coined the term “schizophrenia."
(Econ, 10/29/05, p.84)
1913 Feb 22, Ferdinand de
Saussure (b.1857), Swiss linguist and founder of Structuralism, died
1915 Mar 26, Antoine Borel,
former SF banker and Swiss consul, died while visiting home.
(Ind, 4/5/03, 5A)
1916 Mar 1, A conference
of Lithuanians in Berne (Mar 1-5) demanded for the 1st time the full
independence of Lithuania.
1917 May 13, Ernest Bloch
(1880-1959), Swiss composer, premiered his work "Schelomo."
(WUD, 1994 p.159)(MC, 5/13/02)
1918 The Swiss Fatherland
Association, an anti-Semitic and anti-immigration, group was
(SFC, 6/10/98, p.A10)
1919 Nestle exhausted its local
supply of milk and began opening factories in Australia, England,
Germany and Norway.
(Econ, 10/31/09, p.81)
1920 Feb 8, Swiss men voted
against women's suffrage.
1920 Feb 13, The League of
Nations recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.
1920 Oct 27, League of Nations
moved headquarters in Geneva.
1920 Nov 15, Forty-one nations
opened the first League of Nations session in Geneva.
1920 Dec 8, President Wilson
declined to send a representative to the League of Nations in
1921 Jan 5, Friedrich
Durrenmatt (d.1990), Swiss author and playwright, was born.
1921 Hermann Rorschach
(1984-1922), Swiss psychiatrist, wrote his book Psychodiagnostik,
which was to form the basis of the inkblot test. He devised the
original Rorschach test to deduce elements of personality from a
series of inkblots.
1922 Jul 28, Jacques Piccard,
undersea explorer (bathyscaph Trieste), was born in Switzerland.
1923 Jul 24, The Treaty of
Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Turkey, was
concluded in Switzerland. It replaced the Treaty of Sevres and
divided the lands inhabited by the Kurds between Turkey, Iraq and
(AP, 7/24/97)(SSFC, 12/22/02, p.A14)
1923 Oct 16, John Harwood
patented a self-winding watch in Switzerland.
1923 Jul 24, The Treaty of
Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Greece and Turkey,
was concluded in Switzerland. It replaced the Treaty of Sevres and
divided the lands inhabited by the Kurds between Turkey, Iraq and
Syria. Article 39 allowed Turkish nationals to use any language they
wished in commerce, public and private meetings, and publications.
The treaty specifically protected the rights of the Armenian, Greek
and Jewish communities. The former provinces of Baghdad, Basra and
Mosul were lumped together to form Iraq. Both countries agreed to a
massive exchange of religious minorities. Christians were deported
from Turkey to Greece and Muslims from Greece to Turkey. A Muslim
community of at least 100,000 was allowed in northern Greece. In
2006 Bruce Clark authored “Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions
that Forged Modern Greece and Turkey."
(WSJ, 3/20/97, p.A17)(AP, 7/24/97)(SSFC,
12/22/02, p.A14)(Econ, 3/19/05, Survey p.9)(Econ, 10/14/06,
p.50)(Econ, 12/9/06, p.92)(Econ, 10/16/10, p.72)
2008 Jul 29, WTO
Director-General announced on that the latest negotiations for a
much-delayed trade liberalization deal under the so-called Doha
Round had broken down after nine days due to unresolved differences.
The deadlock centered on a row between the US and India over special
tariff measures to protect poor farmers from surging imports or
1925 In debates over the Geneva
Protocol opponents touted poison gas as a "decisive offensive
weapon." A ban on chemical and biological weapons was signed by most
nations, but not the US until much later. The Geneva Convention
outlawed the use of biological warfare, but did not prohibit nations
from continuing the production of biological agents.
(SFC,11/12/97, p.C2)(NH, 10/98, p.18)(AH, 6/03,
1926 Sep 25, The Convention to
Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery, an international treaty
created under the auspices of the League of Nations, was first
signed in Geneva to be effective March 9, 1927.
1927 The Brissago Islands on
Lago Maggiore were sold to a wealthy German businessman, who added a
Roman bath to the villa there.
(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.T5)
1928 Mar 20, Hans Kung, Swiss
religious theologian, was born.
1928 The Winter Olympic were
held at St. Moritz, Switz.
(SSFC, 1/23/05, p.E14)
1928 Switzerland’s 1st ski
school was introduced at St. Moritz.
(SSFC, 1/23/05, p.E14)
1928 Jean-Leon Reutter, a Swiss
engineer, developed the Atmos clock, which was powered by changes in
the atmosphere. LeCoultre & Cie bought the patent in 1935 and
began making the clock a year later. In 1937 the Swiss company
(SFC, 11/19/08, p.G6)
1930 The Bank for International
Settlements (BIS) was founded in Basel, Switzerland.
(Econ, 10/11/08, SR p.20)
1930 Adolf Wolfli (66), Swiss
outsider artist, died. He had been consigned to the Bern psychiatric
hospital from age 30 to his death. He created thousands of drawings
and 45 large illustrated books. Elka Spoerri (d.2002 at 77), art
historian, deciphered and transcribed much of his work.
(SFC, 6/15/02, p.A19)
1932 In France the Basler
Handelbank affair broke out. The president and vice-president of the
commercial bank in Basle were arrested in Paris by the French
police. In their trunks, the investigators found the list of 2,000
French clients who had confidentially deposited their holdings in
Switzerland. They represented all of French high society: a few
senators, a former minister, bishops, generals and manufacturers.
1934 Mar 26, Switzerland banned
all slanderous criticism of state institutions in the press and
threatened the suspension of publications if the ban was not heeded.
1934 Jun 11, The Disarmament
Conference in Geneva ended in failure.
1934 The Switzerland
dramatically tightened banking secrecy laws in response to a bank’s
exposure in a French tax scandal.
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C2)(Econ, 2/16/13, SR p.5)
1934 The Eispalast at
Jundfraujoch was carved 65 feet below the surface of a glacier. It
was later enlarged and decorated with sculptures.
(WSJ, 7/21/00, p.W12)
1935 Ella Maillart (d.1997 at
94), Swiss sportswoman, wrote "Among Russian Youth: from Moscow to
the Caucasus." In 1947 she took a trip to Afghanistan with a sick,
morphine-addicted friend and wrote "The Cruel Way, Two Women and a
Ford in Afghanistan."
(SFC, 3/29/97, p.A20)
1936 Feb 20, Switzerland bared
all Nazis from entering the country.
1936 Jul 20, Turkey signed a
treaty, the Montreux Convention, by which it agreed not to interfere
with transit through the Bosporus. It granted ships unrestricted
passage except in times of war.
(SFEC, 1/11/98, p.A23)(WSJ, 7/28/05,
1936 Aug 26, The Anglo-Egyptian
Treaty, calling for most British troops to leave Egypt, except those
guarding the Suez Canal, was signed in Montreux, Switzerland. It was
abrogated by Egypt in 1951.
1938 May 28, Hindemith's opera
"Mathis der Maler," premiered in Zurich.
1938 Nov 9, Maurice Bavaud
(25), a Swiss theology student, failed in his attempt to shoot
Hitler at a Nazi parade in Munich. Switzerland, which followed a
policy of neutrality toward Germany before and during World War II,
failed to intervene on Bavaud's behalf, and he was guillotined in
May, 1941, in Berlin's notorious Ploetzensee prison.
1938 In Lucerne, Switzerland,
the International Festival of Music began its annual event.
Toscanini and Ernest Ansermet created the music festival of Lucerne,
Switzerland, at Tribschen, the house in which Wagner wrote "Die
(SFC, 7/21/96, p.T1,5)(Hem, 6/96, p.141)(SFEC,
1938 Switzerland asked Berlin
to stamp German passports with "J" so that they could bar most Jews.
This was later acknowledged.
(WSJ, 5/19/97, p.A18)
1938 Swiss chemists Albert
Hofmann discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 (LSD) in 1938 while
studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other
grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm, later part of Novartis.
Hofmann was the first person to test the drug when a tiny amount of
the substance seeped on to his finger during a repeat of the
laboratory experiment in April 1943.
1939 Sep, Paul Hermann Muller,
a Geigy pesticide researcher in Switzerland, first synthesized DDT.
He combined chloral hydrate with chlorobenzene and a catalyst to
make dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. The discovery was reported 2
(SFC, 9/1/96, z1 p.2)(ON, 11/01, p.6)
1939-1945 US Intelligence revealed in 1997
that during WW II the Swiss National Bank sent 280 truckloads of
Nazi gold to Spain and Portugal.
(USAT, 1/13/97, p.3A)
1939-1945 Switzerland took in nearly 30,000 Jews
fleeing Nazi terror and turned away at least 24,500. Refugees were
forced to work in labor camps.
(SFC, 1/15/98, p.A12)(SFC, 12/11/99, p.C1)
1940 Jun 29, Paul Klee
(b.1879), Swiss-German painter, tutor (Modern Art), died in
Switzerland. In 2005 the Klee Center, designed by Renzo Piano,
opened in Bern.
1940 Jun, The Germans began to
loot the artwork of Paris and more than 70,000 residences were
plundered. A lot of artwork was sold to the industrialist Emil
G. Buhrle and his Foundation in Switzerland, the largest buyer of
confiscated French art. The story is told by Hector Feliciano in his
1997 book: "The Lost Museum." The best book on the fate of European
art in WW II was reported to be "The Rape of Europa" by Lynn
(SFEC, 7/6/97, BR p.7)(SFC,11/19/97, p.E6)
1940 Denis de Rougemont
(1906-1985), Swiss writer who wrote in French, authored “Love in the
Western World," a sweeping history of 8 centuries of romantic
1941 Jan 13, Novelist James
Joyce (58) died in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1983 Richard Ellmann
authored the 900-page "James Joyce" biography. In 1999 Edna O'Brien
authored the pocket bio "James Joyce."
(AP, 1/13/98)(SFC, 12/9/99, p.B1)
1941 Apr 19, B. Brecht's 1939
play "Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (Mother Courage and her
Children)," premiered in Zurich.
1942 Apr 16, Swiss Nazis in
Payerne killed Jewish cattle trader Arthur Bloch. In 2009 novelist
Jacques Chessex (1934-2009) recounted the event in his novel “A Jew
1942 May, Jacob Spirig was
arrested by Swiss police for helping Jews escape from Austria to
Switzerland. Spirig (22) was sentenced to 3 months in prison.
(WSJ, 6/5/01, p.A1)
1942 Aug 8, Gerhart Riegner
(d.2001 at 90), World Jewish Congress official in Geneva, cabled the
US vice consul to describe Hitler’s plan to deport an estimated 4
million Jews to Eastern Europe and to annihilate them.
(SFC, 12/4/01, p.A19)
1942 Aug 15, In Switzerland
shoemaker Marcelin Dumoulin (40) and his schoolteacher wife Francine
(37) left their village of Chandolin to graze their cattle in the
mountainside and disappeared. Seven orphans -- five boys and two
girls -- were placed in foster homes. In 2017 the bodies of Marcelin
and Francine were found preserved in a receding glacier.
1942 Oct 17, Eduard von
Steiger, Justice Minister and minister of police, told leaders of
the Swiss Fatherland Assoc. that the government had decided on a
"fundamental slowing" of Jewish immigration.
(SFC, 6/10/98, p.a10)
1942 Switzerland passed a
euthanasia law to enable those with just a few weeks to live the
opportunity of a dignified death. Swiss law made assisted suicide
lawful under some conditions.
(WSJ, 11/22/02, p.A1)(Econ, 10/15/05, p.59)
1942 Switzerland outlawed
capital punishment for civilians.
(SFC, 7/20/12, p.A2)
1942 Switzerland legalized
1942-1945 Jose Arturo Castellanos (d.1977 at 86),
Salvadoran diplomat in Geneva, gave citizenship certificates to as
many as 40,000 Jews during the Holocaust. In 2010 Israel named him
posthumously as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations."
1943 Apr 16, Swiss chemist
Albert Hoffman (1906-2008) felt the first rush of LSD when a tiny
amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a laboratory
1943 Apr 19, Swiss chemist
Albert Hoffman, following up on an experiment on April 16,
deliberately ingested .25 milligrams of LSD and soon began to feel
its effects. Hallucinations continued on his bicycle ride home and
lasted for some 6 hours.
(SFC, 5/9/96, p.A-1)(Econ, 5/10/08, p.98)
1943 Aug 9, Bertolt Brecht's
"Galileo," premiered in Zurich.
1944 Aug 17, Japanese and Swiss
officials agreed to divert 40% of millions of dollars, paid by the
US and Britain for the care of prisoners of war held by the
Japanese, to pay off Japan’s debts to Swiss businesses. The other
60% was for the free disposal by the Japanese government.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A10)
1944 Oct, In Hungary Eduard
Benedek Brunschweiler, a Swiss representative of the International
Red Cross, took charge of the Pannonhalma Abbey and kept it under
Red Cross protection until Soviet forces expelled him in April 1945.
Some 3,000 people, mostly children, spent the end of the war in the
abbey, including dozens of Jews. In 2006 Hungarian officials
unveiled a memorial at the abbey honoring Brunschweiler.
1945 Apr 28, US 5th army
reached the Swiss border.
1945 The Swiss constitution
introduced the concept of paid maternity leave, but did not create
provisions for payment.
(SFC, 6/14/99, p.A14)
1945 Switzerland agreed with
the US to freeze financial transactions with Germany in early 1945.
The agreement was violated.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A10)
c1945 After the war the US and
its allies made a deal with the Swiss to accept repayment of $60
million and waived further claims. The claims were for gold acquired
from the Nazis during the war. Much of the gold was from occupied
countries and Jews.
(FB, 9/12/96, p.A9)
1945 The Union Bank of
Switzerland took over the Eidgenoessische Bank which had built up an
extensive business with Germany during the Third Reich.
(SFC, 1/17/96, p.A1)
1945-1988 The Swiss maintained contingency plans
for building 400 nuclear warheads. A supply of uranium was
maintained in Wimmis, 21 miles southeast of Berne.
(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)
1946 Apr 8,
The League of Nations assembled in Geneva for its last session.
1946 Sep 19, Winston Churchill
made a speech in Zurich where he said: If Europe were once united in
the sharing of its common inheritance there would be no limit to the
happiness, prosperity, and glory of which its 300 or 400 million
people would enjoy."
(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A22)
1946 Nov, A US Air Force
Douglas C-53 Skytrooper carrying four crew members and eight
passengers crashed on the Swiss Gauli Glacier. After five days a
rescue mission used an aircraft for the first time to land on the
glacier and led to the creation of Switzerland's air rescue
services. There were some injuries but no fatalities. In 2018 the
melting of glacial ice uncovered a large part of the wreckage.
(AP, 8/9/12)(SFC, 8/17/18, p.A2)
1946 Hermann Hesse (1877-1962),
Swiss-born German philosopher poet and author, was awarded the Nobel
Prize in literature "for his inspired writings which, growing in
boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian
ideals and high qualities of style."
1946 The Swiss government
agreed to turn over half of some German assets in vaults to help war
refugees and other victims. The agreement was not kept.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A10)
1946 The "Washington accord"
was designed to wrap up Switzerland's obligations to the Allies
following WW II.
(SFC, 3/15/00, p.A20)
1947 Apr 7, At Mont Pelerin,
Switzerland, Friedrich A. von Hayek invited a group of classical
liberals to discuss the threat of freedom posed by the expansionist
governments of the day. The group founded the Mont Pelerin Society
to continue meetings and discussions in the future. They viewed
central planning as the single most important threat to liberty.
1947 The US began holding a
seat on the Human Rights Commission based in Geneva. It lost its
elected seat in 2001.
(WSJ, 5/4/01, p.A1)
1948 Aug 23, The World Council
of Churches (WCC) was formed in Amsterdam to help reconcile
differences among Christians. Delegates of 147 churches assembled to
merge the Faith and Order Movement and Life and Work Movement.
Church leaders had agreed in 1937 to establish a World Council of
Churches, based on a merger of the Faith and Order Movement and Life
and Work Movement organizations. Headquarters were later established
1948 Paul Hermann Muller
(d.1965), a Geigy pesticide researcher in Switzerland, won the Noble
Prize in medicine for his 1939 synthesis of DDT.
(ON, 11/01, p.6)
1948 The Winter Olympic were
held at St. Moritz, Switz., for a 2nd time.
(SSFC, 1/23/05, p.E14)
1948 George de Mestral
(1907-1990), a Swiss inventor, began studying the burdock plant
because of the plant’s ability to attach its seed to his clothes and
dog’s fur. His analysis of the hook and loop system of plant led to
the development of velcro, patented in 1955.
(Econ, 6/11/05, TQ
1949 Aug 12, Four Geneva
Conventions were signed on this date. Signatories agreed that
occupiers would not settle occupied territory with their own people.
Protection of civilian life and property was added to the 4th Geneva
Conventions. The Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons
in Time of War began on April 21. Two additional protocols were
signed in 1977.
(SFC, 8/11/00, p.A15)(Econ, 8/27/05,
Dec 2, Dinu Lipatti (b.1917), Romania-born pianist, died of leukemia
in Geneva, Switz.
1951 Aug 15, Artur Schnabel
(b.1882), Austrian born US pianist (Reflections on Music), died in
1951 Switzerland and the US
signed an accord on income tax that dealt with issues of bank
secrecy and exchange of sensitive information. The accord was
renegotiated in 1996.
(WSJ, 2/28/96, p.A-1)
1951 The International
Organization for Migration (IOM) was initially established as the
Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) to help
resettle people displaced by World War II. As of June 2016, the
Geneva-based IOM had 166 member states and 8 observer states.
1954 Oct 22, As a result of the
Geneva accords granting Communist control over North Vietnam, U.S.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized a crash program to train
the South Vietnamese Army.
1955 Jul 18, A summit opened in
Geneva, Switzerland, attended by Pres. Eisenhower, Soviet Premier
Nikolai Bulganin, British PM Anthony Eden and French Premier Edgar
1955 Jul 21, During the Geneva
summit, President Eisenhower presented his "open skies" proposal
under which the United States and the Soviet Union would trade
information on each other's military facilities and allow aerial
1955 Nov 16, Big Four talks,
taking place in Geneva on German reunification, ended in failure.
1956 Swiss designer Max
Miedinger devised the Helvetica typeface. It was later adjusted to
work on Linotype machines by British-born American typographer Mike
Parker (1929-2014). Parker and Matthew Carter left Linotype in 1981
to found Bitstream, the first company dedicated to producing digital
(Econ, 3/8/14, p.94)
1956 E.G. Buehrle (b.1890),
German-born Swiss industrialist, died. Emil Buhrle provided arms to
the Third Reich during World War II and amassed one of Europe's
greatest private collections in the aftermath of the war.
1959 Nov 20, Seven European
nations (Austria, Britain, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden,
Switzerland) signed the Stockholm Convention to form the European
Free Trade Association (EFTA). The organization becoming operative
on May 3, 1960. After the accession of Denmark, Ireland, and the UK
to the EEC in January 1973, the EFTA began to falter. Portugal
(1985), followed in 1995 by Austria, Finland and Sweden, left to
join the EU. In 2017 Four members remained: Switzerland, Norway,
Liechtenstein and Iceland.
1959 Robert Frank (b.1924), a
Swiss-born photographer, published “The Americans," a collection of
83 powerful photographs taken during a driving trip around American
from 1955-1957. The published photos were selected from some 26,000
1959 A Swiss gentleman’s
agreement gave 2 cabinet seats each to the 3 major parties, the Free
Democrats, The Christian People’s Party, and the Social Democrats.
One went to the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, SVP.
(Econ, 2/14/04, Survey p.5)
1960 Mar 6, The Swiss granted
women the right to vote in municipal elections.
1960 Mar 15, Ten nations met in
Geneva to discuss disarmament.
1961 Jun 6, Swiss psychiatrist
Carl Gustav Jung (b.1875), one of the founders of modern psychiatry,
died in Zurich. “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human
existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being." In
1997 Richard Noll published "The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of
Carl Jung." Frank McLynn published "Carl Gustav Jung, A Biography."
In 2003 Deirdre Bair authored "Jung: A Biography." In 2004 Sonu
Shamdasani authored “Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology." In
2009 “The Red Book" was published. It was edited by Sonu Shamdasani
and duplicated Jung’s original manuscript, which he worked on from
1914 to 1930.
(SFEC,10/19/97, BR p.3)(SSFC, 12/7/03,
p.M6)(Econ, 3/13/04, p.84)(Econ, 10/10/09, p.89)(Econ, 9/27/14, IL
1962 Mar 25, Auguste Piccard
(78), Swiss explorer, balloonist, died.
1962 Apr 5, St. Bernard Tunnel
was finished and Swiss and Italians workers shook hands.
1962 Aug 9, Hermann Hesse (85),
winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1946), died in Switzerland.
(iUniv. 7/2/00)(MC, 8/9/02)
1963 Jan 28, Jean Felix
Piccard, Swiss explorer, died on his 79th birthday.
1963 Werner Thomas,
accordionist, began performing a tune he’d written in the late 1950s
at his restaurant in Davos. The tune later became known worldwide as
the chicken dance.
(WSJ, 7/16/01, p.A1)
1964 Feb, Yuri Nosenko
(1927-2008), Soviet KGB officer, defected under CIA guidance in
Geneva. He had begun passing information in June, 1962. He was
incarcerated for his first 3 years in the US and settled there under
a new name in 1969.
1965 May 22, Heinrich Barth,
Swiss philosopher (Das Sein in der Zeit), died.
1965 Aug 27, Le Corbusier
(b.1887), Swiss-French architect and writer, died in France. He was
born as Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris in La Chaux-de-Fonds,
Switzerland. His book included books include “Vers une architecture"
(Towards a New Architecture) (1923), “The City of Tomorrow" (1925),
and “When the Cathedrals Were White" (1937). In 2014 Anthony flint
authored “Modern man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of
1965 Oct, Paul Hermann Muller
(d.1965), a Geigy pesticide researcher in Switzerland, died. He
discovered DDT in 1939 and won a Nobel prize in 1948.
(ON, 11/01, p.6)
1966 Jan 11, Albert Giacometti
(64), Swiss-French painter and sculptor, died in Switzerland.
1966 Nov 20, Men in Zurich
voted against female suffrage.
1967 The Brissago Islands on
Lago Maggiore passed to the local government.
(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.T5)
1967 Adrienne von Speyr
(b.1902), Swiss mystic, author and physician, died. From her
conversion to Catholicism in 1940 on she experienced episodes of
trance from Good Friday to Holy Saturday reliving the passion of
(WSJ, 4/18/03, p.W13)
1968 Mar 2, In Switzerland the
World Ice Pairs Figure Skating Championship in Geneva was won by
Lyudmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov (USSR). The Ladies Figure
Skating Championship was won by Peggy Fleming (USA). The Men's
Figure Skating Championship was won by Emmerich Danzer (Austria).
1969 Feb 18, The PLO (PFLP-GC)
machine-gunned an Israeli El-Al plane in Zurich, Switzerland.
One Palestinian was killed and 4 were arrested.
1969 Feb 20, Ernest Ansermet
(b.1883), Swiss conductor and composer, died.
1969 May 13, Paul Wild,
Swiss astronomer, discovered asteroid #1775, Zimmerwald.
1969 Sep 14, Males of Swiss
canton Schaffhausen rejected female suffrage.
1970 Feb 21, The PFLP-GC, a
Palestinian terrorist group, planted a parcel bomb on Swissair
Flight 330 that blew up on a flight from Zurich to Tel Aviv. All 47
aboard were killed.
1970 Feb 24, 29 Swiss Army
officers died in avalanche at Reckingen, Switzerland.
1970 Art Basel started in
Switzerland by Basel gallerists Ernst Beyeler, Trudl Bruckner and
Balz Hilt. In its inaugural year, the Basel show attracted more than
16,000 visitors who viewed work presented by 90 galleries
representing 10 countries. Thirty art publishers also participated.
1970 The PFLP-GC planted a time
bomb on a Swissair jet that blew up on a flight from Zurich to Tel
Aviv. All 47 aboard were killed.
(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A16)
1971 Feb 7, Switzerland voted
to introduce female suffrage at the federal but not the cantonal
(WUD, 1994, p. 1688)(AP, 2/7/01)
1971 Jul 24, The Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was
promulgated in Paris. It was first accepted in Berne in 1886 at the
instigation of Victor Hugo.
1971 Oct 11, Switzerland
established diplomatic relations with North Vietnam.
1971 Ernest Beyeler
(1921-2010), Swiss art dealer, helped found the Art Basel art fair.
In 1982 he and his wife created the Beyeler foundation and
commissioned Renzo Piano to design a museum in Riehen to house their
(SSFC, 2/28/10, p.C10)
1971 In Switzerland business
professor Klaus Schwab (32) organized a meeting of European
executives that grew to become the World Economic Forum (WEF) at
Davos. By 2000 the forum was a powerful player in global economic
(WSJ, 1/27/00, p.A18)(Econ, 1/17/15, p.66)
1971-1985 In 2005 Peter Hug, history professor at
the Univ. of Bern, reported that a Swiss nuclear research center
aided South Africa between 1971 and 1985 in the sectors of
acceleration technology and uranium enrichment.
1972 Switzerland signed a free
trade treaty with the European Common Market.
1973 Jul 6, Otto Klemperer
(b.1885), German-born conductor and composer, died in Zurich. He had
taken United States citizenship in 1937 and Israeli citizenship in
1973 Jul 27, Eddie Rickenbacker
(b.1890), American WW I fighter pilot, died in Zurich. He and
several associates bought Eastern Airlines in 1938 and guided it to
become one of the most profitable airlines in the postwar era.
1973 Dec 21, Israel, Egypt,
Syria, Jordan, US and USSR leaders met in Geneva. The Geneva
Conference of 1973 was an attempt to negotiate a solution to the
Arab-Israeli conflict as called for in UN Security Council
Resolution 338 which was passed after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
1973 Paul Sacher (d.1999 at
93), industrialist and symphony conductor, set up the Paul Sacher
Foundation to house manuscripts and letters of composers in Basel.
Sacher and other family members controlled Roche Holding AG and
their joint fortune was valued at $17-20 billion.
(SFC, 5/27/99, p.C6)
1974 Feb 8, Fritz Zwicky (75),
Swiss-US astronomer (supernova), died.
1974 Billy Graham, American
evangelist, went to Lausanne to set up a new body that would focus
on winning some 2.7 billion people who had yet to hear the Christian
message. Geneva was already the base for the World Council of
Churches (WCC). Church leaders agreed in 1937 to establish a World
Council of Churches, based on a merger of the Faith and Order
Movement and Life and Work Movement organizations. Its official
establishment was deferred with the outbreak of World War II until
August 23, 1948.
1975 Vladimir Prelog (d.1998 at
age 91), a Swiss chemist, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his
work in stereochemistry and the architecture of molecules like
cholesterol and antibiotics.
(SFC, 1/17/98, p.A19)
1976 Dec 6, Dutch War criminal
Pieter Menten (1899-1987) was arrested in Switzerland after fleeing
there in November.
1977 Jul 2, Vladimir Nabokov,
Russian-born author, died in Switzerland. In 1996 a 3-volume
collection of his prose work was issued by the Library of America.
In 1999 Kurt Johnson and Steven Coates authored "Nabokov's Blues:
The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius."
(WSJ, 4/22/99, A20)(SFEC, 10/17/99, BR
1977 Jun 7, Protocols I and II
were added to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. They prohibited
environmental damage during int’l. and internal armed conflict.
Protocol I prohibited "widespread, long-term and severe damage to
the environment." Guerrilla warfare was affirmed as a legitimate
means of conflict by the Geneva Conventions in 1977, when prisoner
of war status was extended to guerrilla fighters.
1977 Dec 25, Comedian Sir
Charles Chaplin died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland at age 88. In
2006 Richard Schickel edited “The Essential Chaplin."
(AP, 4/16/00)(WSJ, 6/23/06, p.W6)
1977 Protocols I and II were
added to the Geneva Conventions. They prohibited environmental
damage during int’l. and internal armed conflict. Protocol I
prohibited "widespread, long-term and severe damage to the
environment." Guerrilla warfare was affirmed as a legitimate means
of conflict by the Geneva Conventions in 1977, when prisoner of war
status was extended to guerrilla fighters.
(SFC, 8/11/00, p.A15)(HNQ, 10/14/01)
1978 Mar 3, The remains of
comedian Charles Chaplin were stolen by extortionists from his grave
in Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland. The body was recovered near Lake
Geneva 11 weeks later.
1978 The Wild-2 comet was
discovered by Swiss astronomer Paul Wild.
(SFC, 2/6/99, p.A8)
1979 Sep 24, Russian ice
skaters Protopopov and Beloussova asked for asylum in Switzerland.
1979 Dec 3, Christie's in
Switzerland auctioned a thimble for a record sum. A London dealer
bid $18,000 for a Meissen porcelain thimble that dated to about
1979 The new Swiss canton of
Jura was separated from Bern.
(Econ, 2/14/04, Survey p.7)
1979 At Davos, Switzerland, the
World Economic Forum became the first nongovernmental institution to
initiate a partnership with China’s economic development
(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.A8)
1980 Sep 5, The St. Gotthard
tunnel in the Swiss Alps, the world's longest auto tunnel, opened.
1980 Sep 8, Jean Piaget, Swiss
psychologist, theorist and educator, died at 84.
1981 Nov 30, The United States
and the Soviet Union opened negotiations in Geneva aimed at reducing
nuclear weapons in Europe.
1981 The SEC sued the Swiss
bank Svizzera Italiana to freeze the assets in trades it suspected
were based on material, nonpublic information, i.e. insider trading.
It eventually got the names.
(WSJ, 9/19/96, p.C18)
1982 Nov 29, An 88-nation world
trade conference meeting in Geneva agreed on a new set of guidelines
for encouraging free trade and halting a tide of global
1982 Dec 20, Artur Rubinstein
(95), pianist (My Young Years), died in Geneva.
1982 Dec, Swiss investigators
discovered a 14-page Arabic document that became widely known as
“The Project." It set out the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy for
1982 Klaus Jacobs (1936-2008),
head of the German coffee dealer Jacobs AG, orchestrated the
takeover of Switzerland’s Interfood SA, maker of the Toblerone candy
bar. In 1990 Philip Morris bought Jacobs Suchard for $3.8 billion.
Klaus went on to buy a Swiss staffing firm and in 1996 merged it
with France’s Ecco SA to form Adecco SA, which became one of the
world’s largest staffing firms.
(WSJ, 9/20/08, p.A12)
1982 JU-Air was founded in
Switzerland offering sightseeing flights with German-made Ju-52
aircraft decommissioned by the Swiss Air Force.
1983 Jul 29, David Niven
(b.1910), actor, died in Switzerland.
1983 Nicolas Hayek (1928-2010),
Lebanese-born businessman, introduced the Swatch, an inexpensive
wristwatch, which became highly collectible. He was later credited
with having saved the Swiss watch industry.
(SFC, 6/30/10, p.C5)
1984 Feb 29, In Switzerland a
court ruled that the villagers of Zermatt owned the Matterhorn.
(SFC, 2/29/00, p.A1)
1984 Aug 5, Actor Richard
Burton (58) died at a hospital in Geneva, Switzerland.
1984 Paul Jolles (d.2000),
diplomat and architect of economic foreign policy following WW II,
retired from government service. He then joined the Board of Nestle
(SFC, 3/15/00, p.A20)
1985 The Swiss Nestle S.A.
corporation bought the SF based Hills Bros. Coffee and MJB. In 1997
it had 494 production facilities in 71 countries.
(SFC, 6/28/97, p.D2)
1985-1999 Swiss glaciers lost at least 18% of
their surface area during this period.
(NH, 2/05, p.17)
1985-2000 The number of Swiss working in
agriculture declined by 32% to 200,000. The number of farms dropped
by 29% to 70,000.
(Econ, 2/14/04, Survey p.11)
1986 Jun 14, Jorge Luis Borges
(b.1899), Argentine author (Book of Sand), died in Geneva. In 1998 a
new English translation by Andrew Hurley of his "Collected Fictions"
was published. In 1999 Alexander Coleman edited "Selected Poems."
Also in 1999 Eliot Weinberger edited "Selected Non-Fictions." In
2004 Edwin Williamson authored “Borges: A Life."
(SFEC, 12/13/98, BR p.1)(SFEC, 4/18/99, BR
p.3)(WSJ, 8/17/99, p.A18)(WSJ, 8/5/04, p.D8)
1986 Nov 1, A fire in a Sandoz
factory in Basel left 30 tons of chemicals in the Rhine.
1986 Georg Bednorz and
Alexander Muller, researchers at IBM’s Zurich laboratory, discovered
that that an exotic ceramic material behaved like a superconductor
(Econ, 12/3/11, TQ p.20)
1986 Swiss physicists Gerd
Binning and Heinrich Rohrer (1933-2013) at IBM's Almaden Research
Center won the Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the
scanning-tunneling microscope used to see and manipulate atoms. They
shared the prize with Ernst Ruska.
(SJBJ, Jan., '96,
1987 Jul 23, Hussein Hariri
(21), a Lebanese hijacker, commandeered an Air Afrique DC-10 flying
from Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, to Paris. He was captured
during a refueling stop in Geneva and was sentenced to life in
prison for killing a passenger and seriously wounding a flight
attendant. In 2004 he was released and deported to Lebanon.
1988 Dec 13, PLO chairman
Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva, where
it had reconvened after the United States refused to grant Arafat a
visa to visit New York.
1988 In Switzerland banking
regulators published the first Basel Capital Accord, Basel 1. It
recognized that some loans and investments were less risky than
others and weighed them accordingly. Work on the Basel 2 accords,
Int’l. Convergence of Capital Measures and Capital Standards," began
in 1996 and were published in 2004.
(Econ, 5/20/06, Survey p.10)
1988 At Davos, Switzerland,
during the World Economic Forum, Prime Ministers Papandreou of
Greece and Ozal of Turkey embarked on a peace initiative, setting up
a hot-line and vowing to avoid war.
(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.A8)
1989 Apr 19, Adnan Khashoggi, a
Saudi financier, was arrested in Switzerland at the request of the
US Government, which is seeking his extradition to New York to stand
trial on charges of racketeering, fraud and obstruction of justice.
He faced charges stemming from ''illegal property dealings'' on
behalf of Ferdinand E. Marcos, the ousted President of the
Philippines, and his wife, Imelda. In 1992 Khashoggi and
Imelda Marcos were found not guilty of racketeering by a jury in
1989 In Zurich authorities
experimented with an open access to drugs program, which caused an
escalation in drug dealing and violence.
(SFEC, 11/29/98, p.A21)
1989 Tim Berners-Lee wrote a
proposal at CERN, Switzerland, that a global hypertext space be
created in which any network-accessible information could be
referred to by a single "Universal Document Identifier". In 1990 he
wrote a program called WorldWideWeb.
1990 Nov 27, The canton
Appenzell Rhodes-Interieur was required to count women’s votes by a
decision of the Swiss Federal Tribunal. It was the last Swiss state
to finally give women the right to vote.
(Hem., 2/97, p.26)
1990 Dec 14, Friedrich
Durrenmatt (b.1921), Swiss author and playwright, died. In 2006 the
Univ. of Chicago published a translation of his selected writings in
3 volumes. "What was once thought can never be unthought."
1990 In Switzerland legislation
was passed to punish bankers who knowingly accepted money that came
from a crime.
(WSJ, 7/3/96, p.A8)
1990 In Switzerland a group,
called "Projekt 26" or P-26, was disbanded after revelations of its
existence prompted a public scandal. It had roots in the 1950s when
the Swiss military began assembling a guerrilla-style force to
resist a Communist invasion. A 1991 probe into P-26 concluded that
while it was not part of any "international resistance network", it
had unusually intense ties to British agents starting in 1967.
1990 Kazem Rajavi, exiled
Iranian opposition leader, was shot to death in Geneva.
1991 Mar 3, Switzerland voted
on lowering voting age from 20 to 18.
1991 Mar 25, Archbishop Marcel
Lefebvre, a rebellious conservative in the Roman Catholic Church,
died in Martigny, Switzerland, at age 85.
1991 Apr 4, Max Frisch
(d.1991), Swiss architect and writer, died. His books included “I’m
Not Stiller" (1958), a look at the nature of identity.
1991 Jun 14, Swiss women
blocked trams during a sit-in in the heart of Zurich's financial
district and gathered outside schools, hospitals and across cities
with purple balloons and banners to demand equal pay for equal work.
1991 Swiss-based Roche Corp.
paid Cetus Corp. of Emeryville, Ca., $300 million for its PCR gene
amplification business, a DNA copying method that became the
foundation for genetic diagnostics.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.A10)
1991 A dye-sensitized solar
cell, also known as Gratzel cells, was invented by Michael Gratzel
and Brian O'Regan at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
He pioneered research on energy and electron transfer reactions in
mesoscopic-materials and their optoelectronic applications.
1992 May 20, Switzerland
formally applies to join the European Communities.
1992 Aug 7, The 39-nation
Conference on Disarmament in Geneva produced the final draft of a
treaty to ban chemical weapons, ending 24 years of talks.
1992 Dec 6, A narrow majority
of Swiss referendum voters rejected the idea of joining the European
Economic Area, a free trade club embracing the EU and Liechtenstein.
1992 Switzerland outlawed
capital punishment for the Swiss military.
(SFC, 7/20/12, p.A2)
1992 In Zurich, Switzerland, a
festival was begun known as the Street Parade to celebrate techno
music under the motto: "Love, peace and tolerance." From 2,000
people at the first event it grew to some 400,000 by 1997.
(SFC, 8/18/97, p.E4)
1992 Scientists at Novartis
synthesized the compound that would become Gleevec (Glivec). It had
been identified as promising compound for treating leukemia. In
2001, the US FDA approved Gleevec for chronic myeloid leukemia
1993 Sep 11, Austrian born US
conductor and author Erich Leinsdorf died in Zurich, Switzerland, at
age 81. His work included "Cadenza."
1993 Dec 15, In Geneva, 117
countries completed the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade, agreeing on a reform package intended to
jump-start the global economy.
1994 Jan 1, The North American
Free Trade Agreement went into effect. Under the system a complaint
is referred to a panel of experts who debate it and render a
decision. The losing nation must then change its practices or offer
compensation to the injured nations. Members who refuse to comply
can be subjected to trade retaliation, such as tariffs to their
exports. It was run out of Geneva by Renato "Rocky" Ruggiero. GATT
gave poorer countries 10 years to strengthen their drug-patent laws
and a similar period for the US to lift its textile quotas. The
World Trade Organization (WTO), founded as the successor to the
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a relatively weak
regulator of int’l. trade, was a product of the Uruguay Round of
negotiations (1986-1994). In 2000 John R. MacArthur authored "The
Selling of "Free Trade:" NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of
(SFC, 10/17/96, A9)(WSJ, 12/3/96, p.A1)(WSJ,
12/13/96, p.A1)(AP, 1/1/98) (SFC, 11/24/99, p.A1)(SFEC, 7/2/00, BR
1994 Sep 25, Swiss voters
approved a ban on racist propaganda. The law became effective Jan
1994 Oct 5, 48 members of a
secret religious doomsday cult were found dead in apparent
murder-suicides carried out simultaneously in two Swiss villages;
five other bodies were found in a sect apartment in Montreal,
1994 Oct, Seven Picasso
paintings worth an estimated $44 million are stolen from a gallery
in Zurich. They are recovered in 2000.
1994 Switzerland began a
controversial 3-year experimental heroin distribution program. The
program led to a huge drop in crime and survived a ballot challenge
(SFC, 7/11/97, p.A14)
1995 Feb, In Zurich the police
clamped down on the open drug scene and dispersed the junkies. There
were an estimated 30,000 addicts in the country.
(SFC, 7/11/97, p.A11)
1995 Oct, Swiss astronomers
Michel Mayor (b.1942) and Didier Queloz (b.1966) revealed that the
spectrum of light from the star 51 Pegosi shifts on a regular
4.23-day period and concluded that the shifts were due to a nearby
1995 A group of 7 Swiss artists
registered the domain name of Etoy.com with Network Solutions. In
1999 the toy company EToys.com sued the artists and forced them to
shut their web site down. In 2003 Adam Wishart and Regula Bochsler
authored: "Leaving Reality Behind: "Etoy vs. eToys.com & Other
Battles to Control Cyberspace."
(SSFC, 2/2/03, p.AM3)
1995 Binjamin Wilkomirski
authored his memoir "Fragments," which purported to be about his
survival at the Majdanek concentration camp. In 2002 Blake Eskin
authored "A Life in Pieces" that told the story of how Bruno
Doessekker (b.1941) fabricated the story.
(WSJ, 2/5/02, p.A16)
1995 Prompted by Jewish groups
Swiss banks searched their dormant accounts and claimed to have
found only $32 million.
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C2)
1995 Protease inhibitors, a
cocktail drug therapy for AIDS, were first introduced. AIDS became
the leading cause of death among Americans aged 25-44. Hoffman-La
Roche, a Swiss drug firm, launched the first protease inhibitor.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A21)(Econ, 6/2/12, p.80)
1996 Jan 31, In Switzerland 5
people died in the Bernese Alps when their hot air balloon crashed
into a mountainside at a height of 2,400 meters.
1996 Mar 8, In Zurich
Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz planned a merger valued at $30 billion. The
new company was named Novartis.
(WSJ, 1/2/97, p.R2)(WSJ, 6/6/00, p.A1)
1996 May 3, A weak compromise
treaty was passed in Geneva that aimed to phase out non-detectable
plastic mines, and introduced rules to limit the lifespan of
anti-personnel mines planted outside marked fields to 3 months. The
new treaty will go into effect once it is signed by 20 countries and
revised an outdated 1980 weapons protocol signed by 57 nations. It
has few enforcement provisions. The international conference in
Geneva ended 30 months of arduous negotiations over whether to ban
land mines with a weak compromise treaty giving countries nine years
to switch to detectable, self-destructive devices.
(SFC, 5/4/96, p.A-1)(AP, 5/3/97)
1996 Jul 4, The defense
ministry hoped to save $476,000 a year by pensioning off 7,000
(SFC, 7/4/96, p.C1)
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of
a Big Mac in Switzerland was $4.80.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Par, p.17)
1996 Jul 12, Gottfried von
Einem (b.1918), Swiss composer, died in Oberduirnbach.
1996 Oct 30, The government
announced that it would join NATO’s Partnership for Peace program to
promote European security.
(SFC, 10/31/96, p.A12)
1996 The independent Volcker
commission was set up to find the truth about assets deposited by
Holocaust victims in Swiss banks. In 1999 the committee presented a
list of some 54,000 accounts with "possible or probable
relationships" to Holocaust victims with a total value of as much as
(SFC, 12/7/99, p.A10)
1996 The Independent Commission
of Experts on Switzerland and WW II was set up. It was led by
Francois Bergier, Swiss historian. In 2001 the commission published
their report "Switzerland as a Hub for German Covert Operations from
(SFC, 12/7/01, p.F5)
1996 The French firm Ecco
merged with Adia of Switzerland to form Adecco. The merger made
Adecco the world’s largest employment firm ahead of Manpower.
(Econ, 1/6/07, p.57)
1996 Karl Muller, Swiss
engineer, invented a new type of shoe designed to re-create the
positive effects of walking barefoot. The shoes were named MBTs
(Masai Barefoot Technology) after the African Masai tribe.
1997 Jan 5, Jewish leaders
blasted the remark of former Swiss Pres. Jean-Pascal Delamuraz, who
called Jewish demands for the compensation of Holocaust victims
(SFC, 1/6/97, p.A9)
1997 Jan 9, Christoph Meili,
night watchman at the Union Bank of Switzerland, salvaged an armful
of books and papers that contained bank records from the Nazi era
that were about to be shredded. His dismissal from the security
company for which he worked, effective at the end of April, was
announced Feb 24.
(SFC, 1/17/96, p.E1)(SFC, 2/24/96, p.A14)
1997 Jan 27, The Swiss
ambassador to the US, Carlo Jagmetti, resigned after remarks against
groups that represented Holocaust victims seeking recompense from
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.A6)
1997 Jan 31, Pres. Arnold
Koller expressed regret to Israeli PM Netenyahu for the wrongdoings
of the Holocaust.
(SFC, 2/1/97, p.C1)
1997 Feb, Three Swiss banks
announced that they had put about $70 million into an account with
the Swiss National Bank to establish a "Humanitarian Fund" for the
victims of the Holocaust.
(SFC, 2/6/97, p.C2)
1997 Mar 22, In Lausanne,
Switz., Tara Lipinski, at age 14 years and 10 months, became the
youngest women's world figure skating champion.
1997 Mar 27, Ella Maillart
(b.1903), Swiss sportswoman and travel writer, died. She chronicled
the savage collectivization of Karakalpak agriculture in Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in the 1930s.
1997 May 17, In Zaire rebel
forces entered Kinshasa and Laurent Kabila declared himself
president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kabila requested
Swiss authorities to block Mobuto Sese Seko’s access to his Swiss
villa. The house was seized and searched and documents were found
that related to his wealth. The seizure was declared legal Aug 7.
(SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.6)(SFC, 8/8/97, p.E3)(AP,
1997 Jul 10, A 3 year pilot
heroin distribution program was declared a success.
(SFC, 7/11/97, p.A14)
1997 Jul 23, Swiss banks
published a list of 2,000 WW II-era dormant accounts that included
assets of holocaust victims.
(SFC, 7/23/97, p.A8)
1997 Aug 7, In Switzerland the
measures to freeze the assets of deposed Zairian Pres. Mobuto Sese
Seko were declared legal.
(SFC, 8/8/97, p.E3)
1997 Sep 1, In Switzerland
robbers made off with $37 million in cash from a Zurich post office.
By Sep 8 Swiss and Italian police had detained 13 suspects. A total
of 19 people in five countries were arrested in connection with the
(WSJ, 9/2/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/9/97, p.A11)(AP,
1997 Sep 29, It was reported
that Swiss voters backed the continuation of a 3-year experiment in
more lenient drug laws that included free heroin to hard-core
addicts to cut crime.
(WSJ, 9/29/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 13, Swiss bank
officials said that 4,000 more unclaimed accounts from the Holocaust
era were found containing about $4 million.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 24, The Swiss
government announced plans to sell up to half of its gold reserves.
The announcement sent gold prices to a 12-year low to $308.80.
1997 Oct 29, Swiss banks
released findings of an additional $12.4 million in unclaimed funds
from WW II.
1997 Nov 2, Franziska
Rochat-Moser of Switzerland led the women in the 28th New York City
Marathon in two hours, 28 minutes and 43 seconds.
(WSJ, 11/3/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 8, It was reported
that Swiss authorities had evidence that 7 Israeli secret service
agents were involved in a plot to kidnap Athena Roussel, the
12-year-old daughter of Christina Onassis and heir to a $2.4 billion
1997 Nov 18, Holocaust
survivors from Latvia received the first checks from a $200 million
fund set up by Swiss banks. Individual survivors were to each
1997 Dec 8, Union Bank of
Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corp. announced a merger. It will
create the world’s 2nd largest bank.
1997 Dec 12, Negotiators in
Geneva for the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed an accord to
open up the banking and insurance sectors of some 70 member
countries to foreign competition.
1997 Dec 12, The high court
told Swiss banks to send some $500 million in assets of the late
Ferdinand Marcos back to the Philippines.
1997 The Swiss film "Fire in
Paradise" was directed by Markus Imhoof. It was set in 1912 and was
about an woman who takes another’s place for an arranged marriage in
(SFC, 1/9/98, p.D6)
1997 Urs Kamber, a national
track star, introduced the Heidiland concept for the town of
(SFEC, 9/24/00, p.T6)
1997 A Swiss federal law made
money laundering and abetting it a criminal offense.
(Econ, 2/14/04, Survey p.12)
1997 Endeavor, a New York-based
non-profit group dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in emerging
economies, was founded. Initial operations began in Argentina and
Chile with seed capital from Stephan Schmidheiny, a Swiss
(Econ, 8/2/08, p.69)
1997 Peter Brabeck took over as
CEO of Nestle SA.
(WSJ, 3/18/04, p.A1)
1997 Prionics AG developed the
1st efficient test for mad cow disease, bovine spongiform
(WSJ, 1/08/00, p.A23)
1998 Jan 28, From Switzerland 3
balloonists set out to circle the globe in the Breitling Orbiter 2.
They failed to get clearance from flying over China in time and were
forced down in Burma on Feb 7 after traveling a record 4,730 miles.
(SFC, 2/7/98, p.11)
1998 Feb 19, Police arrested 3
Israeli Mossad agents for spying on diplomats in Berne.
(SFC, 2/26/98, p.A9)
1998 Feb 25, The first legal
brothel opened in Zurich.
(SFC, 2/26/98, p.A13)
1998 Feb, The Schwab Foundation
for Economic and Social Development was established with Klaus
Schwab as president.
(WSJ, 1/27/00, p.A18)
1998 Mar 26, Three major Swiss
banks pledged to set up a compensation fund in the US for a global
settlement with Holocaust victims. The Swiss government announced a
blunt non-involvement in the global settlement.
(SFC, 3/27/98, p.A12)(SFC, 4/2/98, p.C2)
1998 Apr 1, The Swiss
government announced a blunt non-involvement in the global
settlement by banks with Holocaust victims.
(SFC, 4/2/98, p.C2)
1998 Jun 28, The 12th World
AIDS Conference opened in Geneva with some 12,000 participants.
(SFC, 6/29/98, p.A1)(AP, 6/28/99)
1998 Aug 12, Representatives of
Swiss banks and holocaust survivors agreed to a settlement of $1.25
billion in reparations for victims of the Nazi regime.
(SFC, 8/13/98, p.A1)
1998 Aug 19, The new Kultur and
Knogresszentrum designed by Jean Nouvel will open.
(SFC, 7/21/96, p.T5)
1998 Sep 18, A secret, 269 page
Swiss report asserted that Raul Salinas assumed control of
practically all drug shipments in Mexico in 1988 when his brother
(SFC, 9/19/98, p.A12)
1998 Oct 4, Former Swiss Pres.
Jean-Pascal Delamuraz died at age 62. He served his one year
rotating term in 1996 and made headlines that Dec. when he described
Jewish demands for compensation for Holocaust victims as blackmail.
(SFC, 10/5/98, p.A17)
1998 Oct 20, In Switzerland
officials announced that they seized over $90 million from Raul
Salinas after an investigations revealed that the money was received
for protecting drug shipments. Swiss authorities requested that
Britain seize an additional $23.4 million deposited in England.
(SFC, 10/21/98, p.A10)
1998 Nov 29, The Swiss voted on
whether to legalize drug use.
(SFEC, 11/29/98, p.A21)
1998 Dec 12, Marc Hodler
(1919-2006), Swiss lawyer and International Olympics Committee
official, unleashed a series of corruption allegations that included
systemic buying and selling of votes in Olympic bidding,
particularly for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
(SFC, 10/21/06, p.B6)
1998 Dec, Swiss authorities
indicted Pavlo Lazarenko, a former prime minister of Ukraine, on
money laundering charges. Sergei Mikhailov, an alleged Moscow
kingpin, was tried on charges that he belonged to a criminal
organization. Mikhailov was acquitted on insufficient evidence.
(SFEC, 12/20/98, p.A32)
1998 In Switzerland Ludwig
Minelli founded Dignitas, a physician assisted suicide organization
(WSJ, 11/22/02, p.A1)
1998 In Zurich 815 man-made
Swiss brown milking cows were used to help celebrate the 150th
anniversary of the constitution.
(SFC, 7/6/99, p.C6)
1998 In Lucerne the new $134
million, 1,840 seat Culture and Convention Center auditorium opened.
It was designed by Jean Nouvel of France and the acoustics were done
by Russell Johnson.
(SFEC, 6/13/99, p.T10)
1999 Jan 2, Rolf Liebermann,
Swiss composer, died in Paris. He led the Hamburg Opera from
1959-1972 and the Paris Opera from 1973-1980. His work included
"Eleonore 40/45," "Penelope," "L'Ecole des Femmes" and "La Foret."
(SFC, 1/4/99, p.D2)
1999 Feb 1, In Switzerland the
IOC adopted its first ethics commission and code of conduct.
(SFC, 2/2/99, p.A10)
1999 Feb 3, In Switzerland 60
of the 105 members of the IOC met to formulate an assault on
performance enhancing drugs.
(WSJ, 2/4/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 23, Heavy rain and
snow in the Alps left 5 people dead and 13 missing in Austria,
Switzerland, France and Germany. An avalanche in the Austrian Alps
at Galtuer killed 9 people and at least 30 were missing.
(WSJ, 2/23/99, p.A1)(SFC, 2/24/99, p.A8)
1999 May 20, The US Justice
Dept. settled charges against Roche Holding AG and BASF AG, two of
the largest vitamin makers, for price fixing. Roche agreed to pay
$500 million with a guilty plea, and BASF agreed to pay $225 million
with a guilty plea.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A3)
1999 Jun 13, Swiss voters
defeated government plans to introduce paid maternity leave 61-39%.
Voters endorsed the state distribution of heroin to addicts by a
vote of 54%.
(SFC, 6/14/99, p.A14)
1999 Jul 27, In Switzerland 19
people were killed as they tried to "canyon" down a narrow gorge on
the Saxeten River off Lake Brienz. Two people were still missing and
13 were identified as Australians. 18 tourists and 3 guides died in
the flash flood. In 2001 6 former employees of the adventure company
were convicted of negligent manslaughter and given suspended
sentences with fines.
(SFC, 7/28/99, p.A1)(SFC, 7/29/99, p.A10)(SFC,
1999 cAug 22, The chief of the
secret service was suspended amid reports that he had embezzled
millions of dollars and was using the money to assemble a private
army. Accountant Dino Bellasi was accused of embezzling $6 million
from the Defense Ministry and used the money to train a secret army.
(WSJ, 8/23/99, p.A1)(SFC, 9/3/99, p.A8)
1999 Oct 24, In Swiss
parliamentary elections the right wing People's Party gained 14
seats in the 200 member lower house for a total of 44.
(SFC, 10/25/99, p.A11)
1999 Nov 10, The World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was founded in Lausanne, Switzerland, to
thwart drug users in all sports.
1999 Dec 26, In Europe heavy
winds and rain killed 88 people in France, 17 dead in Germany and 13
dead in Switzerland. A 2nd storm hit a day later. Damages from the
storms were later estimated to be at least $4 billion with 90 people
dead. The storms destroyed an estimated 400 million trees across
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.A12)(WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)(SFC,
12/28/99, p.A8)(SFC, 1/4/00, p.A11)(SFC, 1/15/00, p.A1)(AP, 1/25/09)
1999 At Davos, Switzerland,
during the World Economic Forum, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
announced a Global compact to give a human face to the global
market. He also called on business leaders to set global labor and
(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.A8)
1999 The Swiss-based Center for
Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) was founded by 4 people. By 2008 it had
a staff of over 70 and had helped resolve major conflicts in
Indonesia and Kenya.
(Econ, 7/5/08, p.71)
1999 Pres. Nazarbayev grew
more self-protective after he came under suspicion of stowing funds
in Swiss bank accounts. The Swiss froze over a dozen Kazakhstan bank
accounts for alleged money laundering.
(WSJ, 9/12/02, p.A8)(WSJ, 5/6/03, p.A24)
2000 Jan 10, In Switzerland a
Crossair Saab-340 airplane crashed after takeoff from Zurich and all
10 people aboard were killed.
(SFC, 1/11/00, p.A11)
2000 Jan 29, Pres. Clinton
addressed the World Economic Forum at Davos and urged corporate
leaders to help lift the burden of debt from developing countries
and to examine environmental concerns. Some 1000 protestors
(SFEC, 1/30/00, p.A16)
2000 Feb 21, An avalanche in
Switzerland killed 3 skiers at Davos.
(SFC, 2/22/00, p.A10)
2000 Jun 5, Jeanne Hersch,
philosopher, died at age 89. She was the 1st woman to be appointed a
professor at a Swiss university. Her books included ""The Right to
Be a Man," Ideologies and Reality," and "The Power of Freedom."
(SFC, 6/6/00, p.A21)
2000 Oct 14, A mudslide in
Gondo left 18 people missing.
(SFEC, 10/15/00, p.A20)
2000 Oct 15, The Palestinian
Hezbollah seized an Israeli colonel, Elchanan Tennenbaum, in
(SFC, 10/16/00, p.A1)
2000 Oct 15, At least 31 people
were killed as landslides due to heavy rains continued in the Alps
of Switzerland and Italy. 23 died in northern Italy and 8 in
(SFC, 10/16/00, p.F8)(SFC, 10/18/00, p.A14)(SFC,
2000 Nov 17, Jurgen Graf,
prominent Swiss revisionist author, arrived in Iran. He fled his
homeland rather than serve a 15-month prison sentence for "Holocaust
2000 Dec 13, A Sri Lankan
national murdered his girlfriend, Kavitha Kandiahr (23), in Basel,
Switzerland. He was arrested on Aug 26, 2014, in New Zealand under a
Swiss warrant and granted interim name suppression by a New Zealand
court pending an appearance next week.
2000 The Swiss franc was
explicitly backed by gold until this year.
(Econ, 11/29/14, p.66)
2001 Jan 27, Riot police
prevented some 1,000 protestors from reaching the World Economic
Forum at Davos.
(SFC, 1/29/01, p.A14)
2001 Feb 18, Balthus (b.1908),
painter aka Count Balthazar Klossowski de Rola, died at age 92 in
Switzerland. In 2002 His memoir "Vanished Splendors," as told by
Alain Vircondolet, was published.
(SFC, 2/21/01, p.A18)(AP, 2/18/02)(SSFC, 1/12/03,
2001 Mar 4, Swiss voters
rejected membership talks with the EU by 77%.
(SFC, 3/5/01, p.A11)
2001 Mar 23, Parliament voted
to permit abortions until the 12th week. The centrist Christian
People’s Party planned to force a national referendum on the issue.
(SFC, 3/24/01, p.A11)
2001 Apr 1, The Pritzker Prize
for Architecture was awarded to Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Mueron
of Basel, Switzerland.
(SFC, 4/2/01, p.D1)
2001 Jun 1, Police in Geneva
found the decomposed body of a 16-month-old girl whose mother, a
Portuguese immigrant, was arrested May 8 for stealing a cell phone.
(SFC, 6/21/01, p.A10)
2001 Jun 10, Swiss voters by a
narrow margin approved arming their soldiers on int’l. peacekeeping
missions and to allow them to train with NATO.
(SFC, 6/11/01, p.A9)
2001 Sep 10, In Switzerland
nurse Roger Andermatt (32) was reported to have confessed to killing
of 27 elderly and ailing patients over a 6-year period (1995-2001).
In 2005 he was sentenced to life in prison for killing 22 elderly
nursing home residents.
(SFC, 9/12/01, p.C4)(AP, 1/28/05)
2001 Sep 27, In Switzerland
gunman Friedrich Leibacher killed at least 14 people at the regional
parliament of Zug.
(SFC, 9/28/01, p.D2)
2001 Oct 2, Cash-strapped
Swissair shut down flight operations and stranded thousands of
passengers around the globe.
(SFC, 10/3/01, p.D3)
2001 Oct 4, Swissair resumed
flying following a 2-day shut down propped by a $281 million Swiss
government loan. [see Jan 31, 2002]
(SFC, 10/5/01, p.B4)
2001 Oct 24, In Switzerland 2
trucks collided in the 10.6 mile Gotthard tunnel and at least 10
people were killed. 11 were later confirmed dead with 30 people
missing. The tunnel was expected to stay closed for weeks.
(SFC, 10/25/01, p.A15)(SFC, 10/26/01, p.D2)(SFC,
2001 Nov 24, In Switzerland a
Swiss Crossair Jumbolino Avro RJ-100 crashed with 33 people on
board. 24 were killed including American pop singer Melanie
(SSFC, 11/25/01, p.A18)(WSJ, 11/26/01, p.A1)(AP,
2001 Dec 13, It was reported
that 83 vanadium miners at the Vantech Tech. mining operations in
Steelport, South Africa, were let go between 1998 and 2001 after
suffering respiratory problems. Vantech was a subsidiary of the
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.E2)
2002 Jan 22, The Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established as a Swiss
2002 Jan 31, Crossair, a
regional carrier and successor airline to the bankrupt Swissair,
announced plans that will make it Europe's 4th largest international
airline, under the new name Swiss.
(EB, 2002, p.11)(Econ, 2/14/04, p.10)
2002 Feb 23, Switzerland
largest bank said it was freezing accounts containing money of the
family of Sani Abacha of Nigeria, dictator from 1993-1998. The total
blocked now reached $720 million.
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.A20)
2002 Mar 3, Switzerland voted
in a referendum to join the UN, the 190th member, abandoning almost
200 years of formal neutrality.
(SFC, 3/4/02, p.A2)(Econ, 2/14/04, Survey
2002 Apr 17, The Swiss
government announced that the family of Sani Abacha will return $1
billion to Nigeria in an out-of-court settlement that allowed them
keep $100 million.
(SFC, 4/18/02, p.A11)
2002 May 15, The National
Exhibition, Expo.02, opened. The $823 million production, scattered
around 3 lakes and 4 town, was set to close Oct 20.
(SSFC, 5/26/02, p.C5)
2002 Jun 2, About 72% of Swiss
voters approved a measure permitting abortions in the 1st 12 weeks
(SFC, 6/3/02, p.A6)
2002 Jun 2, It was reported
that atrazine, a commonly used herbicide made by Sygenta AG of
Switzerland, had been linked to cancer in humans and deformities in
(SSFC, 6/2/02, p.A3)
2002 Jul 1, Bashkirian flight
2937 with 45 Russian children headed for a beach vacation in Spain
were among 71 people killed when their chartered Tupolev airliner
slammed into a Boeing 757 DHL cargo plane over southern Germany. The
flights were under Swiss air control. An onboard device told the
pilot to climb but he followed a controller’s order to dive instead.
In 2007 four employees of a Swiss air traffic control company were
convicted of negligent homicide for the crash of flight 2937.
(AP, 7/2/02)(SFC, 7/2/02, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/2/02,
p.A1)(SFC, 7/3/02, p.A6)(WSJ, 7/9/02, p.A1)(AP, 9/4/07)
2002 Jul 3, Swiss authorities
said a collision-warning system was out of service in the Zurich
tower when it took control of a Russian airliner and a cargo jet
shortly before they collided on July 1 at 35,000 feet, killing 71
people, including 45 children headed for an end-of-school beach
holiday. One of 2 required air controllers was on a break.
(AP, 7/3/02)(SFC, 7/4/02, p.A8)
2002 Jul 8, Peter Friedrich,
Switzerland's ambassador to Luxembourg, was arrested on suspicion of
2002 Ju 17, Switzerland
formally requested membership to the United Nations.
(SFC, 7/18/02, p.A15)
2002 Aug 20, The Swiss
government returned to Peru about $77.5 million linked to former
Peruvian spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos, saying the money came from
corrupt arms deals. The money includes assets of Gen. Nicolas de
Bari Hermoza Rios, Peru's former armed forces chief, who also faces
corruption charges. $33 million linked to Montesinos remained
blocked in Swiss banks.
2002 Sep 8, Georges-Andre
Chevallaz (87), a former Swiss president (1980) and member of the
ruling cabinet for 10 years, died in Lausanne.
2002 Sep 10, Switzerland became
the 190th member of the UN, preserving its historic neutrality but
stepping more actively onto the world stage.
2002 Sep 22, Switzerland held a
referendum on the use of tons of "excess" gold sold weekly from the
vaults of Switzerland's central bank. The government wants to split
the money three ways: a third to Swiss cantons, or states, a third
to its social security program exclusively for Swiss residents and a
third to be divided evenly between self-help projects for use at
home and abroad.
2002 Sep 29, Hans Peter Tschudi
(88), twice Swiss president (1965, 1970) and interior minister for
14 years, died.
2002 Nov 5, In Switzerland
representatives of over 40 countries along with industry
representatives and advocacy groups passed a UN-backed certification
plan to block the trade of illicit diamonds.
(SFC, 11/6/02, p.A18)
2002 Swiss-based Art Basel made
Miami Beach its American home, bringing with it an international
circus of high-powered art dealers, collectors, curators, critics
and art lovers.
2002 Xstrata was born out of
the initial public offering of the coal mines of Glencore, a private
commodity trader based in Switzerland. It was first listed on the
London Stock Exchange as it acquired Glencore's coal assets in
Australia and South Africa. The Company was founded in 1926 in
Switzerland as Sudelektra, an infrastructure and electricity
projects concern operating in Latin America.
(Econ, 3/13/10, p.68)
2003 Jan 26, At the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates announced that his
charitable foundation will spend $200 million for medical research
in poor and undeveloped countries. In partnership with the
National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMFG) granted $200 million to the Foundation for the
National Institutes of Health (FNIH).
2003 Feb 9, Swiss voters
approved measures to further extend their direct democracy.
2003 Mar 1, In Geneva more than 170 nations
agreed, despite US objections, on a text for a tobacco treaty that
would impose worldwide restrictions on advertising and labeling,
while clamping down on smuggling and second-hand smoke.
2003 Mar 2, Landlocked
Switzerland became the first European country to win the America's
Cup as "Alinghi" swept Team New Zealand in five races.
2003 Apr 9, In Geneva
inventions from around the planet were presented during the world's
largest inventions fair.
(AP, 4/10/03)(SFC, 4/10/03, p.A2)
2003 May 18, Swiss voters
agreed to modernize their armed forces, overhaul the country's civil
defense and keep nuclear energy.
2003 Jul 8, In Switzerland a
swerving car plowed through pedestrians on a downtown bridge in
Lausanne. Two people were killed, including a woman pushing her
child in a stroller.
2003 Jul 17, Walter Zapp (97),
inventor of the Minox mini camera featured in spy movies, died, in
northern Switzerland. Zapp was born in 1905 in Riga, Latvia.
2003 Sep 28, A nationwide power
blackout in Italy hit virtually the whole population in the dead of
night. Power was out for as much as 18 hours. Problems began after a
tree branch hit power lines in Switzerland.
(AP, 9/28/03)(WSJ, 10/1/03, p.A1)(AP, 10/1/03)
2003 Oct 19, The nationalist
Swiss People's Party (SVP), led by Christoph Blocher, won elections
to become the leading party in the lower house of parliament with 55
of 200 seats.
(AP, 10/19/03)(SFC, 10/20/03, p.A8)(Econ,
2/14/04, Survey p.5)
2003 Dec 10, The World Summit
on the Information Society began a 3-day meeting in Geneva, Switz.
(SSFC, 12/7/03, p.C2)
2003 Aug, In Switzerland Sheikh
Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the brother of the president
of the United Arab Emirates, hit an Italian-American, Silvano Orsi,
with the buckle of his belt in a hotel. in a trial in June, 2008, he
was ordered to pay 540,000 Swiss francs (337,000 euros, 532,000
dollars) by the court, suspended for three years. The sheikh was
also sentenced to pay legal costs of nearly 3,000 Swiss francs. In
2009 he was acquitted on appeal against the imposed fines.
2004 Jan 8, Teams of Swiss
police in 5 cantons arrested 8 suspected accomplices in the May 12
al Qaeda car bomb attack in Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 1/10/04, p.A3)
2004 Jan 24, Some 2,000
opponents of the World Economic Forum marched in Davos, Switz., to
protest the meeting, which they say is elitist and does nothing for
2004 Feb 8, Swiss voters
approved a measure to put into effect some of Europe's harshest laws
on violent criminals and pedophiles.
(SFC, 2/9/04, p.A3)
2004 Feb 24, In Switzerland
Vitaly Kaloyev of Russia killed Pieter Nielsen, a Danish air traffic
controller with the Swiss company Skyguide. Nielsen had been on duty
during the July 1, 2002, collision between a Bashkirian Airlines
plane and a DHL cargo jet. Kolayev’s family was killed in the crash.
In 2007 Switzerland's highest court ordered Kolayev’s release
because he had served more than two-thirds of his sentence with good
2004 Jun 14, The Swiss
parliament voted to end a 96-year ban on absinthe. The green spirit
was allowed back into shops in much of western Europe following an
EU directive in 1981, but it remained outlawed in Switzerland.
2004 Jun 26, The world’s top
central bankers approved Basel 2, “Int’l. Convergence of Capital
Measures and Capital Standards," a new capital-adequacy framework
p.61)(www.bsp.gov.ph/about_bsp/CAF/basel2.htm)(Econ, 5/20/06, Survey
2004 Jul 31, World Trade
negotiators in Geneva broke months of deadlock and put together a
framework for the rest of the Doha trade round.
(Econ, 8/7/04, p.59)
2004 Aug 22, Ota Sik (b.1920)
Czech economist and painter, died in St. Gallen, Switz.
(SFC, 8/25/04, p.B7)
2004 Nov 13, A 61-year-old
German engineer, Gotthard L., was arrested in Switzerland on an
international warrant on suspicion that he helped Libya's past
efforts to build a nuclear bomb.
2004 Nov 18, A survey said
Swiss teenagers smoke more cannabis than their peers in every other
2004 Nov 23, The UN Working
Group on Internet Governance (40 delegates) met in Geneva.
(Econ, 11/20/04, p.65)
2005 Jan 1, A new Swiss law
took effect that legalized the production of absinthe.
(SFC, 11/4/04, p.A2)
2005 Jan 1, Switzerland was
forecast for 2% annual GDP growth with a population at 7.4 million
and GDP per head at $51,490.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.90)
2005 Jan 9, In Basel,
Switzerland, central bankers, joined by commercial counterparts and
financial regulators from around the globe, opened a 2-day meeting
to discuss ways to ensure smooth economic growth amid worries over
widening U.S. deficits.
2005 Jan 26, The World Economic
Forum, the global business meeting that attracts world leaders and
Hollywood stars, opened in Davos, Switzerland. A Chinese economist
said that China has lost faith in the stability of the US dollar and
would seek to broaden the exchange rate for the yuan to a more
flexible basket of currencies.
(AP, 1/26/05)(SFC, 1/27/05, p.C1)
2005 Jan 30, The World Economic
Forum ended 5 days of talks in Davos, Switz. Chinese Vice Premier
Huang Ju said Chinese per capita income will triple during the next
15 years and there was no reason for the world to fear his country's
emergence as a global giant.
2005 Mar 1, In Geneva, Switz.,
Edouard Stern, French financier and former Lazard banker, was found
dead in his home. Swiss police later arrested Cecile Brossard (36),
his French lover, who confessed to the sex-related killing of banker
Edouard Stern. During her trial in 2009 she said that she lost
control after Stern called her a whore. On June 18, 2009, Brossard
was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.
(WSJ, 3/3/05, p.A1)(AP, 3/16/05)(WSJ, 4/14/05,
p.A1)(SFC, 6/15/09, p.A2)(AP, 6/18/09)
2005 Mar 4, Swiss police said
they have detained five purported Islamic extremists suspected of
running Web sites that showed the execution of hostages and provided
details of how to make bombs and carry out attacks.
2005 Mar 12, In Lenzerheide,
Switzerland, Bode Miller became the first American in 22 years to
win skiing's overall World Cup title.
2005 Mar 17, Stephane Lambiel
of Switzerland won the men's title at the World Figure Skating
Championships in Moscow.
2005 Apr 17, A Swiss tourist
bus carrying 27 people plunged into an Alpine ravine near the Great
St. Bernard Pass, and at least 100 rescuers descended to the wreck
on ropes to try to aid the injured. 12 people were killed.
(AP, 4/17/05)(AP, 4/17/06)
2005 Apr 28, Swiss engineers
blasted through the final four yards of rock to complete the bore of
the first of two deep rail tunnels under the Swiss Alps linking
north and south Europe. The 21-mile Loetschberg tunnel, part of a
massive construction project to move heavy European Union trucks off
Switzerland's narrow highways and onto transport trains, will
shorten the travel time between Germany and Milan, Italy, by an
2005 May 31, In Switzerland
Griselidis Real (76), writer and well-known prostitute who
campaigned for the rights and dignity of sex workers, died in
Geneva. In 2009 she was re-buried in the presence of 200 people at
the Cemetery of the Kings, which is reserved for individuals that
have profoundly marked Swiss or international history.
2005 Jun 5, Swiss voters
approved, by a 55-45% majority, joining the European Union in the
Schengen passport-free travel zone, abolishing checks on the
country's border by 2007. They also granted same-sex couples more
(AP, 6/6/05)(Econ, 6/11/05, p.48)
2005 Jun 6, IBM and Ecole
Polytechnique of Lausanne, Switz., announced a partnership to begin
building a computer model of the human brain.
(Econ, 6/11/05, p.75)
2005 Aug 20, The 184-pound
"Unspunnenstein," named after the site of Switzerland's most revered
stone-throwing contest, was stolen from a hotel in the central Swiss
city of Interlaken where it was on display before the competition
scheduled for Sept. 3-4.
2005 Aug 25, Rescue workers
began evacuating more people from submerged sections of the Swiss
capital as central and southern Europe struggled with the aftermath
of flooding that has killed at least 42 people.
2005 Sep 1, The Swiss firm
Novartis AG said it is offering $4.5 billion in cash for the
remaining stake in Chiron Corp. to complete its takeover of the
US-based biotech company.
2005 Sep 5, UBS said it will
sell three of Switzerland's oldest private banks and asset manager
GAM to Julius Baer for 5.6 billion Swiss francs ($4.6 billion), to
enable it to focus on its own private banking business.
2005 Sep 25, A majority of the
Swiss electorate voted to allow citizens of the 10 new EU member
states to work in Switzerland, according to the final results of a
2005 Oct 3, Switzerland decided
to extradite Russia's former nuclear minister to the US on charges
of stealing up to $9 million that was intended to improve security
of nuclear plants. Russia has been fighting the US extradition
request for Yevgeny Adamov out of fear that he could reveal nuclear
secrets while facing the charges in the United States.
2005 Oct 17, Serono
Laboratories, a Swiss drug-maker, pleaded guilty to US federal
conspiracy charges and agreed to pay $740 million for kickbacks to
doctors for the AIDS drug Serostim and for manipulating a test for
(SFC, 10/18/05, p.E1)
2005 Oct 26, A Swiss court
found Vitaly Kaloyev, a Russian architect, guilty of premeditated
homicide for the Feb 2004 killing of the air traffic controller on
duty at the time of the Jul 1, 2002, midair plane collision in which
his wife and child were lost. Kaloyev was released in 2007.
(AP, 10/26/05)(AP, 7/1/12)
2005 Oct 31,
Chiron Corp., a biotech operation in Emeryville, Ca., merged
with the Swiss firm Novartis. Novartis paid $5.1 billion for Chiron.
(SFC, 11/1/05, p.D1)
2005 Nov 18, Swiss Reinsurance
Co., the world's second-largest reinsurer, said it will acquire most
of General Electric Co.'s insurance unit for $6.8 billion in cash
2005 Nov 22, Nestle SA, the
world's biggest food company, said it has recalled hundreds of
thousands of gallons of baby milk from France, Portugal, Spain and
Italy after traces of ink from the packaging were found in the
2005 Nov 25, Swiss authorities
said they will block major foreign acquisitions by the
telecommunications operator Swisscom because of financial risk to
the state, which holds most of the company's shares.
2005 Nov 27, Swiss voters
approved a blanket five-year ban on the use of genetically modified
organisms in farming. Switzerland already prohibits most of such
technology from being used in agriculture.
2005 Dec 1, in northern
Switzerland a pack of dogs mauled a boy walking to his kindergarten
class killing him instantly.
2005 Dec 29, Switzerland's top
court ordered the extradition of Yevgeny Adamov, Russia's former
nuclear minister, to his homeland instead of the US, where he's been
indicted for allegedly diverting $9 million in US aid money to his
businesses. The Swiss court made its ruling Dec. 22 but it was made
public Dec 29.
2005 In Geneva the large Hadron
Collider of CERN was expected to be completed for $6 billion. The US
provided over $500 million towards the construction of a the new
2006 Jan 25, The World Economic
Forum opened in Davos, Switzerland. 15 heads of state, top business
leaders and celebrities attended the session to brainstorm on key
issues facing the globe, including high oil prices, Iran's nuclear
ambitions, new business models and the shifting balance of power in
2006 Mar 23, Stephane Lambiel
of Switzerland won his second straight World Figure Skating
Championships title, in Calgary, Alberta.
2006 Mar 31, Swiss prosecutors
said they have filed charges against 19 former top executives and
board members of the defunct Swissair for their part in the national
airline's 2001 bankruptcy.
2006 Apr 9, A Swiss
investigator has issued an international arrest warrant for Iran's
former intelligence chief in the killing of an exiled Iranian
opposition leader. It demands the arrest of Ali Fallahian,
intelligence minister from 1989-1997, on grounds he "decided and
ordered the execution of Kazem Rajavi." Rajavi was shot to death in
Geneva in 1990.
2006 Jun 7, Swiss senator Dick
Marty, the head of an investigation into alleged CIA clandestine
prisons, said 14 European nations colluded with US intelligence in a
"spider's web" of secret flights and detention centers that violated
international human rights law. Marty asserted that at least 7
European governments were complicit in the transports.
(AP, 6/7/06)(Econ, 6/10/06, p.49)
2006 Jun 19, Swiss
chocolate-maker Nestle AG said it will fatten up its weight-loss
business by buying Jenny Craig Inc. for $600 million.
2006 Jul 1, In Geneva
developing countries emerged from a failed World Trade Organization
meeting more united than ever and warned rich countries not to
undermine the development thrust of the Doha Round of global trade
2006 Jul 24, WTO members in
Geneva called a halt to more than five years of commerce
liberalization talks (the Doha talks) as differences over farm aid
proved unbridgeable. The 25-nation EU criticized US intransigence
over agricultural subsidies for the breakdown, while the US blamed
Brazil and India for being inflexible on cutting barriers to
industrial imports and the EU for refusing to make deeper cuts in
its farm import tariffs.
2006 Aug 9, A Justice Ministry
official said Swiss authorities will provide the US with details
from bank accounts US investigators suspect of being used for
2006 Sep 14, The Swiss central
bank raised its key Libor interest rate by a quarter of a percentage
point to a range between 1.25% and 2.25% to dampen the threat of
2006 Sep 24, Swiss voters in a
national referendum backed tougher asylum rules put forth by justice
minister Christoph Blocher, despite fears that the new rules will
deny refugees a fair hearing. 68% approved a new immigration law
which was meant to tackle what authorities say is the lack of
integration of many foreigners into Swiss society.
(AP, 9/24/06)(Econ, 9/30/06, p.61)
2006 Oct 26, Sri Lanka's
warring parties arrived in Geneva for their first face-to-face
meeting in eight months as the EU racked up international pressure
for a halt to ethnic bloodshed.
2006 Oct 27, Swiss officials
said authorities have found enough evidence to seek a full
investigation into allegations the CIA was trying to obtain personal
details of about 500 labor union members, most of them Arabs.
2006 Nov, Swiss-based Novartis,
the world’s 4th largest pharmaceutical company, announced plans to
invest $100 million in a new research facility in Shanghai.
(Econ, 11/11/06, p.72)
2006 Dec 8, In Basel,
Switzerland, a 3.4 magnitude tremor was accidentally triggered by
engineers drilling deep into the Earth's crust to tap its inner
heat, in the world's search for new sources of energy.
2007 Jan 22, Scientists warned
that glaciers will all but disappear from the Alps by 2050, and that
most would be gone by 2037.
(SFC, 1/23/07, p.A4)
2007 Jan 24, Some 2,400
registered participants gathered at Davos, Switzerland, for the
4-day World Economic Forum, whose theme this year was: "The Shifting
2007 Jan 20, Richard
Vollenweider (1922-2007), Swiss scientist, died. He developed
methods for quantifying the eutrophication of freshwater. His
methods were used to save Lake Erie and helped form the basis of the
1972 Great Lakes Water Quality Act.
(http://tinyurl.com/ygrc3p)(WSJ, 2/3/07, p.A8)
2007 Jan 27, In Switzerland
major powers at Davos agreed to resume global free trade talks. A
meeting of the world's top commercial powers yielded only a vague
pledge of commitment to global trade liberalization efforts, a
disappointment after business and political leaders called for
progress in the World Trade Organization talks.
2007 Feb 2, A ruling by
Switzerland's highest court opened up the possibility that people
with serious mental illnesses could be helped by doctors to take
their own lives.
2007 Feb 9, Bolivia’s Pres. Evo
Morales declared the Vinto tin smelter to be nationalized. Glencore,
the Swiss based owner, demanded compensation saying the seizure
violated a 1991 bilateral agreement between Bolivia and Switzerland.
(Econ, 2/17/07, p.40)
2007 Feb 13, In Geneva the US
clashed with China and Russia during a disarmament debate over how
to prevent an arms race in outer space, and Washington criticized
Beijing for its recent test of an anti-satellite missile. Russia and
China, in turn, condemned the "one state" that refuses to consider a
treaty banning space weapons, a reference to the US.
2007 Feb 28, A Swiss court
acquitted seven men of providing logistical support to a Saudi
terror cell in the first Swiss trial of alleged al-Qaida associates.
2007 Mar 4, Avalanches killed
at least five skiers in the Swiss and French Alps following days of
2007 Mar 9, A prominent Turkish
politician was convicted of breaching Swiss anti-racism laws by
saying that the early 20th-century killing of Armenians could not be
described as genocide. Perincek was charged with breaking Swiss law
by denying during a visit to Switzerland in 2005 that the World War
I-era killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians amounted to genocide.
He was ordered to pay a fine of $2,450 and was given a suspended
penalty of $7,360.
2007 Mar 29, A Swiss man was
jailed for 10 years for insulting Thailand's revered king by
vandalizing his portraits during a drunken spree.
2007 Apr 12, The Swiss-based
Nestle SA, the world's biggest food and drink company, said it will
buy Gerber Products Co. from pharmaceutical maker Novartis SA for
$5.5 billion, giving it the largest share of the global baby food
2007 Apr 10, In Switzerland
thieves stole jewelry worth about $825,000 from the Baselwood fair,
the world's biggest and most luxurious watch and jewelry fair.
2007 May 13, One of
Switzerland's central bankers said further increases in Swiss
interest rates are still on the cards, while also praising the
management of the euro currency.
2007 May 24, In Switzerland an
arson fire gutted the interior of Hekhal Haness Synagogue, Geneva's
2007 May, A Geneva court
temporarily blocked the release of some of the US$6.2 million
stashed in Switzerland by Duvalier. Many in Haiti considered the
money to have been stolen from public funds before Duvalier was
2007 Jun 7, In Switzerland all
19 managers and consultants accused in the collapse of former
national carrier Swissair were acquitted and will receive
compensation totaling more than $2 million.
2007 Jun 14, The Swiss National
Bank raised interest rates by a quarter point.
(Econ, 6/16/07, p.80)
2007 Jun 15, Swiss officials
inaugurated the Loetschberg Base Tunnel, the world's longest
overland tunnel, a 34.6-kilometer-long (21-mile-long) rail link
under the Alps meant to ease highway traffic jams.
2007 Jun 20, In Switzerland 2
people accused of running al-Qaida-linked Web sites that showed the
slaying of hostages and gave details of how to make bombs and carry
out attacks went on trial. Moez Garsallaoui (39), a Tunisian based
in Switzerland, and Malika El Aroud 948), the Belgian-born widow of
an al-Qaida suicide bomber, appeared in court on charges that
included providing support for terrorists.
2007 Jun 27, A Swiss
investigator said European governments have built a "wall of
silence" surrounding their complicity with a CIA program that
included holding terrorist suspects in secret jails.
2007 Jul 3, The Alinghi team
from Switzerland successfully defended sailing's coveted America's
Cup, beating Emirates Team New Zealand 5-2.
2007 Jul 5, Peter Wuffli, chief
executive of UBS, a Swiss-based global bank, was dismissed. In May
UBS shut down a hedge-fund operation, which invested in American
mortgages, at a cost of $425 million.
(Econ, 7/14/07, p.77)
2007 Jul 12, In the Swiss Alps
6 soldiers on an alpine training exercise were killed when an
avalanche sent them plummeting thousands of feet into a valley.
2007 Jul 23, An attempt to
break an aviation speed record went horribly wrong when a small
"experimental" plane crashed through an apartment building in the
Swiss city of Basel, killing the pilot and injuring at least three
2007 Aug, The Swiss government
extended a freeze on Duvalier's funds for a year. Many in Haiti
considered the money to have been stolen from public funds before
Duvalier was ousted.
2007 Sep 24, The Swiss
drugmaker Novartis AG said that the European Commission had approved
its Exelon skin patch to treat Alzheimer's disease.
2007 Oct 1, Swiss banking giant
UBS warned that the crisis in the US housing market had cost it
around 4.0 billion Swiss francs, as it announced a major management
shakeup and plans to cut 1,500 jobs.
2007 Oct 18, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced more than 1,200 job losses
in the US after its third quarter results weakened on sharper
competition from generic drugs.
2007 Oct 21, A Swiss
nationalist party rode an anti-immigrant wave to the best showing of
any party in parliamentary elections since 1919, while the Greens
made gains by appealing to environmental concerns. The Swiss
People's Party (SVP), led by justice minister Christoph Blocher, won
62 seats and received 29% of the vote, after a bitter campaign
blaming foreigners for much of the country's crime.
(AP, 10/21/07)(AP, 10/22/07)(Econ, 10/27/07,
2007 Oct 21, In Brazil
activists trying to invade a 304-acre biotech seed farm, owned by
the Swiss firm Syngenta AG, clashed with guards and at least
two people were shot dead.
2007 Oct 21, Ernst Ludwig
Ehrlich (86), a Jewish religious philosopher, died at his home in
Basel, Switz. He had escaped the Nazis and became a European
bridge-builder between Christians and Jews.
2007 Oct 30, Switzerland's
largest bank, UBS, reported its first quarterly loss in five years
after its third quarter results were hit in the financial crisis
caused by the ailing US home loans market.
2007 Nov 30, In Geneva the
International Red Cross said 7 countries including the US and
Britain have joined in a new move to ensure the safety of
journalists in war zones. France, Germany, Australia, Canada and
Denmark also committed themselves to accept a new nonbinding accord
on protecting correspondents in line with the Geneva Conventions on
the conduct of warfare.
2007 Dec 10, Swiss banking
giant UBS AG said it will write off a further $10 billion on losses
in the US subprime lending market and will raise capital by selling
substantial stakes to Singapore and an unnamed investor in the
2007 Bradley Birkenfeld, an
American employed by Swiss-based UBS, approached officials in
Washington to reveal the bank’s surreptitious servicing of thousands
of rich, tax-dodging Americans.
(Econ, 2/7/15, p.58)
2008 Jan 6, In Zurich Sonntag
newspaper reported that Credit Suisse faces a fresh assets write-off
of 2.5 billion Swiss francs (1.5 billion euros, $2.3 billion) from
the US sub-prime crisis.
2008 Jan 24, In Davos,
Switzerland, fears of world recession briefly took a back seat at
the World Economic Forum, where leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan
and Iraq focused on how to establish security in their volatile
regions. Afghan Pres. Karzai stressed how extremists used economic
exploitation to recruit bombers.
(AP, 1/24/08)(AFP, 1/24/08)
2008 Jan 24, In Switzerland the
country's supreme court said prosecutors acted within the law when
they froze funds belonging to the Russian central bank at the behest
of a Swiss firm. The funds were frozen over a legal dispute with
Geneva-based trading firm Noga dating back to the end of the Soviet
2008 Jan 25, At Davos,
Switzerland, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced at the World
Economic Forum that his foundation would give $306 million to use
green technology and farming techniques to boost millions out of
hunger and poverty.
2008 Jan 30, Subprime-related
problems at UBS AG mounted as the Swiss bank unveiled $4 billion in
new write-downs in a surprise statement and sank deep into the red
for the year, depressing its shares.
2008 Feb 6, In eastern
Switzerland 2 paintings by Pablo Picasso worth nearly five million
Swiss francs (4.5 million dollars, 3.1 million euros) were stolen
from a museum. The two oil paintings, "Tete de Cheval" from 1962 and
"Verre et pichet" from 1944, were stolen from a cultural centre in
the eastern town of Pfaeffikon.
2008 Feb 10, In Switzerland
armed robbers stole paintings by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet
worth $163.2 million from the E.G. Buehrle Collection in Zurich, one
of Europe's finest private museums for Impressionist and
post-Impressionist art. 2 of the paintings were recovered in an
abandoned car on Feb 18.
(AP, 2/11/08)(AP, 2/19/08)
2008 Feb 14, In Switzerland UBS
AG posted a 4th-quarter net loss of $11.28 billion, and a loss for
the entire year, besieged by investments in US subprime mortgages.
Chairman Marcel Ospel announced his resignation on Feb 27.
(AP, 2/14/08)(Econ, 4/5/08, p.72)
2008 Apr 1, In Switzerland UBS
AG's chairman abruptly resigned as the Swiss bank reported a
first-quarter loss of $12.1 billion and said it would seek $15.1
billion in new capital.
2008 Apr 7, Switzerland's
Novartis AG said it will spend about $39 billion in a two-step bid
for a majority stake in U.S. eye-care company Alcon.
2008 Apr 23, Switzerland said
it had frozen the assets of a further 12 Iranian companies in
accordance with new UN sanctions aimed at stopping Tehran's alleged
2008 Apr 29, Albert Hofmann
(102), the father of the mind-altering drug LSD, died. His medical
discovery inspired, and arguably corrupted, millions in the 1960s
hippie generation. The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid
diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a
fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals
firm in Basel. He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when
a tiny amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a
laboratory experiment on April 16, 1943. Hofmann to LSD for the last
time when he was 97.
(AP, 4/30/08)(Econ, 5/31/08, p.21)
2008 May 6, Swiss bank UBS,
hard hit by the US subprime crisis, reported a first-quarter loss of
$10.97 billion and said it will slash almost 7 percent of its work
2008 May 14, A Swiss pilot
strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane for the first
public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights
and soaring high above the Alps.
2008 Jun 1, Voters in
Switzerland rejected a plan to give local communities the power to
decide which immigrants should be granted Swiss citizenship.
Currently, after living at least 12 years on Swiss soil, foreigners
who wish to acquire Swiss citizenship face a naturalization
procedure that includes a knowledge of the country's traditions,
history and culture.
2008 Jun 4, Swiss
pharmaceutical Novartis announced it had bought Protez
Pharmaceuticals for $100 million (64.8 million euros), thus
acquiring the rights to a new antibiotic.
2008 Jun 19, Bradley
Birkenfeld, a former UBS executive, pleaded guilty to helping
clients hide hundreds of millions of dollars and evade US taxes in a
case that is part of a probe into whether the Swiss banking giant
did the same for other wealthy individuals.
(AP, 6/19/08)(Econ, 7/5/08, p.79)
2008 Jun 26, Swiss police said
they have arrested about 30 people in a crackdown on a large drug
2008 Jul 9, German
investigators carried out raids on 600 homes in Austria, Switzerland
and Germany seeking chemicals used to produce an illicit date-rape
2008 Jul 15, In Switzerland
Hannibal Kadhafi (32), the son of Libya’s leader, was arrested along
with his wife Aline at a luxury hotel in Geneva after the servants,
a Moroccan and a Tunisian, alleged they had been abused by the
couple. The 2-day detention led to reprisals by Libya. Days after
Hannibal Kadhafi’s arrest, Swiss businessmen Max Goeldi and Rachid
Hamdani were detained in Libya on alleged visa violations. The
servants later dropped their legal complaints after receiving some
compensation. In November, 2009, Goeldi and Hamdani were handed over
to the Swiss embassy in Tripoli. Libya then announced that they
would go on trial on accusations of tax evasion and violating
(AP, 9/2/08)(AP, 11/9/09)(AP, 11/12/09)
2008 Jul 17, An official of the
Swiss bank UBS announced that it was halting its offshore banking
services for US citizens after it came under scathing criticism for
facilitating massive tax evasion.
2008 Jul 21, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Roche offered 43.7 billion dollars to acquire
the remaining shares in US subsidiary Genentech, the bio-tech
pioneer underpinning its dominance of the cancer treatment market.
2008 Jul 24, Libya said it will
halt fuel supplies to key oil client Switzerland in the latest
reprisal for last week's brief detention in Geneva of a son of
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.
2008 Aug 8, UBS AG agreed to
buy back $19 billion in auction rate securities improperly sold as
higher-rate equivalents for super-safe money market funds.
(WSJ, 8/9/08, p.A1)
2008 Aug 8, The Large Hadron
Collider (LHC) near Geneva, began initial tests.
2008 Aug 20, Swedish wireless
equipment maker LM Ericsson AB and Swiss chip-maker
STMicroelectronics NV unveiled plans to create a 50-50 joint venture
that will make a key component known as chipsets for mobile phones.
2008 Sep 3, Swiss prosecutors
said police have broken up an Internet child pornography ring
operating in at least four European countries where men exchanged
details about their contacts with young girls. In all investigators
said they had identified 600 people in Germany, 40 in Austria, 13 in
Switzerland and four in Liechtenstein using the forum.
2008 Sep 10, In Geneva the
Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle collider, passed
its first major tests by firing two beams of protons in opposite
directions around a 17-mile (27-kilometer) underground ring in what
scientists hope is the next great step to understanding the makeup
of the universe. On Sep 19 it started leaking helium and had to be
turned off. The technical problems delayed for at least two months
the quest for scientists to learn more about the nature of the
universe and the origins of all matter.
(AP, 9/10/08)(AP, 9/20/08)(Econ, 9/27/08, p.96)
2008 Sep 10, Ruedi Rymann (75),
a farmer and cheesemaker and renowned yodeler, died at his home in
Giswil, Switzerland. In 2007 Viewers of a Swiss television series
devoted to popular national music voted Rymann’s “Dr Schacher
Seppli" as the greatest Swiss hit of all.
2008 Sep 26, Yves Rossy of
Switzerland leapt from a plane and into the record books, crossing
the English channel in 13 minutes on a homemade jet-propelled wing.
2008 Oct 6, Switzerland's top
prosecutor charged 10 people with laundering more than US$1 billion
dollars (1.349 billion euros) during a decade-long mafia cigarette
smuggling operation. Authorities said they broke up the smuggling
ring in 2004.
2008 Oct 7, Harvard Univ. said
medical device billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, chairman of Swiss-based
Synthes Inc., had donated $125 million, the largest one-time gift in
the history of the school. In 2004 Wyss had donated $25 million to
support doctoral programs at Harvard.
(WSJ, 10/8/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 8, Six central banks
jolted markets by cutting interest rates together in an attempt to
shore up confidence in the world's crisis-stricken financial system.
The US Fed reduced its key rate from 2% to 1.5%. The Bank of England
unexpectedly slashed its key lending rate by a half-point to 4.5%.
The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to
2.5%. China also cut its key interest rates for a second time in
less than one month to 6.9%. The European Central Bank sliced its
rate by half a point to 3.75%. Sweden, and Switzerland also cut
rates. Earlier in a day Japan's Nikkei showed its biggest drop since
the October, 1987 stock market crash. The IMF said the world economy
is entering a major downturn.
(AP, 10/8/08)(AFP, 10/8/08)(Econ, 10/11/08,
2008 Oct 9, The Libyan oil
company Tamoil said the Libyan government has again decided to halt
oil deliveries to Switzerland.
2008 Oct 10, The Libyan news
agency JANA said Libya will withdraw $7 billion of assets in Swiss
banks, cut economic ties with Switzerland and stop supplying it with
oil to protest against poor treatment of Libyan diplomats and
2008 Oct 12, Pope Benedict XVI
gave the Roman Catholic church four new saints, including an Indian
woman whose canonization is seen as a morale boost to Christians in
India who have suffered Hindu violence. They included Sister
Alphonsa (1910-1946) of the Immaculate Conception, a nun from
southern India and India’s first woman saint; Gaetano Errico
(1791-1860), a Neapolitan priest who founded a missionary order in
the 19th century; Sister Maria Bernarda, born as Verena Buetler
(1848-1924) in Switzerland, who worked as a nun in Ecuador and
Colombia; and Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran (1832-1869), a 19th
century laywoman from Ecuador who helped the sick and the poor.
2008 Oct 13, Swiss authorities
said they have found high concentrations of melamine in biscuits
from Thailand and Sri Lanka and have called on other European
countries to withdraw the products.
2008 Oct 13, Stock markets
rejoiced after governments worldwide launched multibillion-dollar
bailouts to shore up banks, and Britain called for a new Bretton
Woods agreement to reshape the world financial system. The US
Central Bank said it would provide unlimited dollars, as did the
European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Swiss National
Bank. Britain committed £37 billion ($64 billion) to capitalize its
big banks. Wall Street rebounded with the biggest stock rally since
the Great Depression. The DJIA rose 936 points to close at 9,387.61,
its largest point gain ever and one of its largest percentage
(Reuters, 10/13/08)(SFC, 10/14/08, p.A1)(WSJ,
10/14/08, p.A3)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.83)
2008 Oct 30, A Swiss court
convicted 2 brothers from Kosovo of running a massive drug smuggling
ring that prosecutors said supplied Western Europe with up to half
of its heroin. Ragip and Kemal Shabani channeled 1.5 tons of heroin
through Europe from the mid-1990s until 2003, when they were shut
2008 Oct, The Swiss government
bailed out banking giant UBS.
2008 Nov 1, Jacques Piccard
(b.1922), a scientist and underwater explorer who plunged deeper
beneath the ocean than any other man, died in Geneva, Switzerland.
2008 Oct 10, Heinz Imhof, known
as the Father of Syngenta, died, He orchestrated the 2000 merger of
the crop-protection and seeds divisions of Switzerland’s Novartis AG
and Anglo-Swedish Astra-Zeneca PLC, creating Sygenta, the biggest
agrichemical business in the world.
(WSJ, 11/8/08, p.A6)
2008 Nov 12, US prosecutors
charged Raoul Weil, a senior executive of Swiss bank UBS AG, of
helping some 20,000 rich clients evade federal income taxes on
assets of some $20 billion from 2002-2007. In 2014 a federal court
in Florida acquitted Mr. Weil.
(WSJ, 11/13/08, p.A1)(Econ, 11/8/14, p.76)
2008 Nov 18, Spanish artist
Miquel Barcelo unveiled his lavish, $23 million ceiling painting at
the European headquarters of the United Nations in Switzerland, a
project that has evoked controversy over its hefty price tag.
2008 Nov 20, Switzerland’s
central bank cut its benchmark interest by a full percentage point,
the latest in a global round of aggressive rate cuts amid stuttering
(WSJ, 11/21/08, p.A16)
2008 Nov 27, Switzerland
reached an agreement with the EU to join the European Union's
Schengen passport-free travel zone effective next month.
2008 Nov 30, A pioneering Swiss
program to give addicts government-authorized heroin was
overwhelmingly approved, according to projections that showed voters
simultaneously rejecting the decriminalization of marijuana.
2008 Dec 2, In Switzerland Alex
Widmer (52), head of private banking at Julius Baer Holding AG,
(www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/05/europe/baer.php)(WSJ, 2/2/09, p.C4)
2008 Dec 12, Switzerland became
the 25th member of the passport-free zone of the Schengen countries,
after interior and justice ministers of the 27 EU member states
formally approved the accession of this non-EU country on Nov 27.
The number of Chinese visitors quickly soared.
2008 Herve Falciani, a native
of Monaco, walked out of a Geneva branch of HSBC, where he had
worked for three years, with five CD-ROMS containing data on
thousands of account holders.
(Econ, 10/19/13, p.79)
2008 The ATLAS particle
detector at CERN, Switzerland, was completed.
2009 Jan 9, Lithuania’s FlyLAL
airline, privatized in 2005, announced that SCH Swiss Capital
Holdings, a Switzerland-based firm, has purchased it for $1 million
and debt of about 1 million euros. On Jan 17 FlyLAL airline said it
has suspended its operations after a buyout deal by Swiss investment
firm SCH Swiss Capital Holdings failed.
(AP, 1/9/09)(AP, 1/17/09)
2009 Jan 15, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG said it has secured a $486 million
contract to build a new flu vaccine plant in North Carolina.
2009 Jan 15, A Luxembourg court
ordered Swiss bank UBS AG to pay French financial company Oddo &
Cie euro30 million ($40 million) it had invested in a fund linked to
the alleged fraud perpetrated by US financier Bernard Madoff.
2009 Jan 21, Germany banned the
production, sale or possession of a synthetic marijuana-like drug
known as "Spice," effective as of Jan 22, becoming the 4th nation to
ban the substance, marketed as an herbal room-freshener, after
Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
2009 Jan 28, In Switzerland
some 2,500 business and political leaders met at Davos for the World
Economic Forum, as the worst financial crisis since the Great
Depression served to mute the enthusiasm of previous years. China’s
Premier Wen Jiabao and Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin blamed the US-led
financial system for the global economic slump.
(AP, 1/28/09)(WSJ, 1/29/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 29, Swiss police said
they stumbled across a large marijuana plantation last year while
using Google Earth, the search engine company's satellite mapping
software. They arrested 16 people and seized 1.1 tons (1.2 US tons)
of marijuana as well as cash and valuables worth 900,000 Swiss
2009 Jan 29, At the economic
forum in Davos, Switzerland, Israel’s Pres. Peres (85) traded
accusations with Turkey’s PM Erdogan, who declared: “You kill
people," and criticized Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Erdogan stalked
off stage after being cut short during the exchange.
(SFC, 1/30/09, p.A4)(WSJ, 1/30/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 31, In Geneva,
Switzerland, riot police fired tear gas after some 1000
demonstrators began throwing bottles protesting against the annual
World Economic Forum meeting at Davos.
2009 Jan, Four tourists, two
Swiss, a German and a Briton, were kidnapped on the Mali-Niger
border. They were transferred to Al-Qaida's North Africa branch,
which asked for a ransom and the release of a radical Islamist
preacher held in Britain. A Swiss and a German tourist were released
in April. Edwin Dyer of Britain, was killed by his captors on May
31. The 2nd Swiss citizen, Werner Greiner, was released in July.
(AP, 4/23/09)(AP, 7/12/09)
2009 Feb 1, In Switzerland the
5-day World Economic Forum at Davos ended with the realization that
the depth of the global financial crises is still unknown and that
the solution remains elusive.
(SFC, 2/2/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 8, Voters in
Switzerland approved an expanded labor deal with the European Union
that allows Romanians and Bulgarians to work in the Alpine republic.
2009 Feb 9, In Switzerland
Paula Oliviera (26), a lawyer from Brazil, claimed she was attacked
by three skinheads, one with a Nazi symbol tattooed on the back of
his head, outside a Zurich train station. On Feb 13 investigators
said was not pregnant and probably cut wounds into herself.
2009 Feb 19, Banking giant UBS
said it has agreed to pay $780 million and turn over once-secret
Swiss banking records to settle allegations it conspired to defraud
the US government of taxes owed by thousands of American clients.
2009 Feb 20, Banking details of
eight American clients of Switzerland's largest bank were sent to US
authorities along with the names of more than 240 other American
clients of UBS. A Swiss court order blocking the move came too late
to stop the action.
2009 Mar 9, Helg Sgarbi, a man
dubbed "the Swiss gigolo" by the German media, was sentenced to six
years in prison for defrauding BMW heiress Susanne Klatten (46),
Germany's richest woman, of euro7 million ($9 million) and
attempting to blackmail her for tens of millions more.
2009 Mar 12, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Roche agreed to pay $46.8 billion to buy the 44
percent of biotech pioneer Genentech that it doesn't already own,
ending a long corporate struggle with its US-based cancer drug
2009 Mar 13, The Swiss
government said it would cooperate on cases of international tax
evasion, breaking with a long-standing tradition of protecting
wealthy foreigners accused of hiding billions of dollars in the
2009 Apr 3, The Swiss central
bank said UBS has transferred its final installment of toxic assets
to a special state aid fund, bringing the total to 38.7 billion
2009 Apr 6, The US Federal
Reserve said it will supply new lines of credit worth up to $287
billion to the central banks of Japan, Switzerland, the United
Kingdom and EU.
2009 Apr 12, The Pritzker jury
named Peter Zumthor (65), a Swiss architect, as the 2009 winner of
the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
(AFP, 4/12/09)(SFC, 4/13/09, p.A7)
2009 Apr 20, A UN racism
conference opened in Geneva. Iran’s Pres. Ahmadinejad accused Israel
of being the "most cruel and racist regime," sparking a walkout by
angry Western diplomats. The US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel,
Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland boycotted the conference
out of concern that it could be used by Muslim countries to
criticize Israel and to limit free speech when it comes to
criticizing their religion.
(AP, 4/19/09)(AP, 4/20/09)
2009 Apr 21, In Geneva over 100
countries agreed on a declaration to combat racism and related forms
of intolerance worldwide. The US was not among them, prompting sharp
criticism from African-American groups participating in the UN's
second global conference on racism.
2009 Laurent Keller, Swiss
prof. of ecology, and Elisabeth Gordon authored “The Lives of Ants."
The English translation was by James Grieve.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.85)
2009 Apr 26, Voters in the
heart of the Swiss Alps passed legislation banning naked hiking
after dozens of mostly German nudists started rambling through their
2009 May 12, In Switzerland a
rare 7.03-carat blue diamond sold for 9.3 million Swiss francs (more
than $8.4 million), the highest price ever for a gem of its kind,
according to Sotheby's.
2009 May 29, In Geneva a
65-nation Conference on Disarmament broke a dozen years of deadlock
and opened the way to negotiate a new nuclear arms control treaty.
2009 May 29, In Argentina Swiss
architect Peter Zumthor (66) received the 2009 Pritzker Architecture
Prize. He compared his creative process to the arc of a love affair.
2009 Jun 12, Swiss
pharmaceuticals company Novartis AG said it has successfully
produced a first batch of swine flu vaccine weeks ahead of
2009 Jun 26, In Switzerland
Solar Impulse, a project run by aviators Bertrand Piccard and Andre
Borschberg, unveiled a prototype solar powered airplane, the HB-SIA.
(AP, 6/26/09)(Econ, 6/13/09, p.83)
2009 Jun 28, Swiss police said
they have uncovered a child pornography ring involving more than
2,000 people in 78 countries.
2009 Jul 1, Switzerland said it
had refused a request to extradite a Rwandan national wanted in his
own country for alleged genocide and war crimes. Other European
countries have also refused extradition requests arguing that
suspects cannot at present receive a fair trial in the country.
2009 Jul 8, Switzerland's
government said it would forbid the Swiss bank UBS AG from complying
with any court-ordered transfer of data on tens of thousands of
American clients to the US government, and would consider seizing
documents to prevent that.
2009 Jul 10, In Switzerland
British conductor Edward Downes (b.1924) died with his wife Joan
(74) at an assisted suicide clinic. He was a longtime stalwart at
the Royal Opera and maestro of the first-ever performance at
Sydney's iconic Opera House.
2009 Jul 12, Swiss police
divers harpooned a zander fish, which was 70 centimeters (two feet
three inches) long and weighed eight kilos (17.5 pounds), after it
bit six swimmers over the weekend in Lac Majeur.
2009 Aug 3, In Switzerland
there was an arson attack at Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella's lodge in
Bach, Austria. An attack on his mother's grave took place a week
earlier. The next day drug maker Novartis said animal rights
militants were responsible.
2009 Aug 14, A Swiss court
backed the government's plan to give aid agencies 7 million Swiss
francs ($6 million) seized from bank accounts linked to Haiti's
former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. The Duvalier
family, which wants to reclaim the money, can now appeal the case to
Switzerland's highest court. The accounts have been blocked since
2009 Aug 19, Swiss banking
giant UBS AG agreed to turn over to the IRS the details of 4,450
accounts suspected of holding undeclared assets by American
customers, piercing Switzerland's long-standing tradition of banking
2009 Aug 20, Swiss President
Hans-Rudolf Merz and Libyan PM al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi signed an
accord pledging to restore relations between the two countries and
to have Hannibal Gadhafi July 15, 2008, arrest examined by a joint
arbitration tribunal in London. The next day Merz defended his
apology to Libya for the arrest of Moammar Gadhafi's son, saying it
was the only way to secure the release of two Swiss citizens
detained by Tripoli.
2009 Sep 24, Swiss lawmakers
decided not to join the European Union's anti-piracy efforts, amid
concern that participating in the mission off Somalia could violate
the Alpine nation's long-standing neutrality.
2009 Sep 26, In Switzerland
director Roman Polanski (76) was taken into custody on a 31-year-old
US arrest warrant, where he traveled to receive an award at the
Zurich Film Festival for his lifetime work as a director. Polanski
fled the United States in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to
unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
(AP, 9/27/09)(SFC, 9/30/09, p.A4)
2009 Oct 1, In Switzerland
senior American and Iranian delegates met one-on-one during a lunch
break at seven-nation talks in Geneva. Iran brought a broad range of
geopolitical issues to the table, while the six powers, the
permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, sought to soften
Iran's resistance to freezing its uranium enrichment program. Iran
accepted a demand to allow UN inspectors into its covertly built
(AP, 10/1/09)(AP, 10/2/09)
2009 Oct 8, French police
arrested Adlene Hicheur, a nuclear physicist in Vienne, on suspicion
that he had links to terrorist organizations in Algeria. The man had
been working on analysis projects with the LHCb experiment at CERN
(AP, 10/9/09)(AFP, 3/29/12)
2009 Oct 9, Jacques Chessex
(b.1934), one of French-speaking Switzerland's leading novelists and
the first non-Frenchman to receive the prestigious Prix Goncourt,
died. He was honored in 1973 with the Prix Goncourt literary award
for his novel "L'ogre" ("The Ogre"), a largely autobiographical
account of a difficult father-son relationship.
2009 Oct 10, Armenia and Turkey
signed a deal in Switzerland to establish diplomatic ties ending a
century of enmity. To take effect, the agreements must be ratified
by the Turkish and Armenian parliaments, but it faced stiff
opposition in both countries.
2009 Oct 14, It was reported
that Swiss researchers have found that Alpine glaciers melting under
the impact of climate change are releasing highly toxic pollutants
that had been absorbed by the ice for decades.
2009 Oct 23, Swiss and US
authorities said the US has asked Switzerland to hand over Roman
Polanski to authorities in California, where he could serve up to
two years in prison for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.
2009 Nov 2, The Swiss
government said it has handed banking documents over to Argentina in
a $25 million dollar corruption probe linked to former President
Carlos Menem and French defense company Thales.
2009 Nov 3, Britain pressed
ahead with a fresh wave of restructuring in its crisis-ravaged
banking system, as Lloyds Banking Group PLC sought at least 21
billion pounds ($34.2 billion) through a record share issue and debt
swap. World stock markets mostly fell amid renewed concerns about
the banking sector after Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland PLC got
more government help and Switzerland's UBS AG booked another massive
2009 Nov 20, Swiss authorities
said that they had ordered some 350 million dollars of assets to be
seized from the son of the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha for
2009 Nov 20, In Geneva, Sw.,
CERN scientists restarted the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider
(LHC) following more than a year of repairs. They were surprised
that they could so quickly get beams of protons whizzing near the
speed of light during the restart.
2009 Nov 23, In Geneva the
world's largest atom smasher made another leap forward Monday by
circulating beams of protons in opposite directions at the same time
and causing the first particle collisions in the $10 billion machine
after more than a year of repairs.
2009 Nov 25, Yves Rossy, a
Swiss adventurer, landed in the Atlantic after trying to soar from
Morocco to Spain on jet-powered wings.
(SFC, 11/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Nov 26, The Swiss Justice
Ministry said Roman Polanski will be placed under house arrest at
his Alpine chalet as soon as possible, announcing it would not
appeal a court's decision to release the 76-year-old director on
2009 Nov 29, Switzerland held a
nationwide referendum on a proposal by the right-wing Swiss People’s
Party to ban Muslim minarets. Swiss voters approved the ban. The
four minarets already attached to mosques in the country are not
affected by the initiative.
(SFC, 11/28/09, p.A4)(AP, 11/29/09)
2009 Nov 30, In Switzerland the
world's largest atom smasher broke the world record for proton
acceleration Monday, firing particle beams with 20 percent more
power than the American lab that previously held the record.
2009 Dec 1, Libya sentenced two
Swiss businessmen to 16 months in prison and a fine, in a row
stemming from the arrest in Geneva last year of Libyan leader Moamer
2009 Dec 4, In Switzerland
Roman Polanski took refuge at his snowbound chalet after being
granted bail under house arrest, while he fights extradition to the
US on a child sex case.
2009 Dec 9, In Switzerland the
world's largest atom smasher recorded its first high energy
collision of protons.
(SFC, 12/10/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 15, Credit Suisse
confirmed that it was fined $536 million for helping Iran hide
(Econ, 2/27/10, p.68)
2009 Dec 16, The Swiss
government said it will take in one detainee from the US detention
facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
2009 Dec 17, Hannibal Kadhafi,
the son of the Libyan leader, filed a civil lawsuit for "protection
of personality" against the Swiss canton of Geneva and a local
newspaper over the publication of police mugshots taken when he was
arrested in Switzerland in July, 2008.
2009 Dec 23, Nestle, the
Swiss-based food giant, said Zimbabwean government officials and
police had made an "unannounced visit" to the plant on Dec 19,
forcing staff to take delivery of a tanker of milk from
non-contracted suppliers. "Since under such circumstances normal
operations and the safety of employees are no longer guaranteed,
Nestle decided to temporarily shut down the factory."
2009 Switzerland changed its
customs law and required collectors to detail the contents of their
(Economist, 9/1/12, p.73)
2010 Jan 3, In Switzerland
avalanches killed at least four skiers and a rescue doctor. Two of
the avalanches occurred in Diemtig Valley, the first hitting a group
of skiers, the second the rescuers who came to their aid. A third
avalanche buried two skiers near Switzerland's borders with France
2010 Jan 4, Novartis, a Swiss
drug company, agreed to buy a controlling 52% stake in Alcon, an
American listed but Swiss-based eyecare company, from food giant
(Econ, 1/9/10, p.66)
2010 Jan 12, Novartis, a Swiss
drug company, announced its decision to spend $24 million to secure
exclusive licenses and options on drug delivery technologies
developed by Proteus Biomedical, a California start-up.
(Econ, 1/16/10, p.62)
2010 Jan 12, Switzerland's
highest court ruled that $4.6 million seized from bank accounts
linked to Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier
can be handed over to his family. The decision was not published
until Feb 3. Many in Haiti considered that money to be stolen from
public funds. Duvalier was ousted in 1986.
2010 Jan 18, Swiss Reinsurance
Co. said it transferred part of its US life insurance business to
American investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for 1.3
billion Swiss francs ($1.27 billion) to free up capital and invest
it more profitably.
2010 Jan 19, Swiss bank Credit
Suisse said that it would reduce bonuses paid to its top executives
in London by about 30% in response to a tax announced last month by
2010 Jan 22, A Swiss court
ruled that Switzerland cannot hand over files on 26 suspected tax
cheats to US authorities because their failure to declare assets
does not constitute fraud under Swiss law.
(SFC, 1/23/10, p.A2)
2010 Jan 26, The US Justice
Department said an Uzbek detainee held at the US military prison at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has been sent to Switzerland.
2010 Jan 29, At Davos,
Switzerland, Microsoft co-founder and his wife said The Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $10 billion over the next
decade to research new vaccines and bring them to the world's
2010 Jan 30, In Davos,
Switzerland, government regulators from the US and Europe laid out
their financial reform plans before a skeptical banking industry,
asking financiers for input but adamant that change was coming with
or without their support.
2010 Jan 31, Switzerland's
justice minister warned in an interview that top bank UBS could
collapse if sensitive talks with the US over a high-profile tax
fraud investigation fall through.
2010 Jan 31, In Davos,
Switzerland, the world's foremost gathering of business and
government leaders wrapped up a five-day meeting with widespread
agreement that a fragile recovery is under way but no consensus on
what's going to spur job growth and prevent another global economic
2010 Jan 31, A Libyan appeal
court overturned a jail term slapped on Swiss businessman Rashid
Hamdani on a charge of overstaying his visa, easing a Tripoli-Bern
2010 Feb 2, Germany and
Switzerland headed for a fresh spat over banking secrecy after
Berlin decided to buy a disc said to hold details of some 1,500
suspected tax-dodgers with funds in Swiss accounts.
2010 Feb 3, The Swiss
government approved the resettlement of two Chinese inmates at
Guantanamo as part of its commitment to help President Barack
Obama's administration close the detention center.
2010 Feb 3, "L'homme qui marche
I" (Walking Man I), a 1961 life-size bronze statue of a man by Swiss
artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), smashed the world record for
an art work at auction, selling in London for £65,001,250.
2010 Feb 6, A Libyan court
ordered Max Goeldi, one of two Swiss men entangled in a diplomatic
row, to pay an 800-dollar fine for illegal business activities.
Fellow businessman Rashid Hamdani was cleared last week of charges
of overstaying his visa.
2010 Feb 7, A Libyan court
dropped a case against Rashid Hamdani, a Swiss businessman for
alleged illegal business activities, clearing the way for him to go
home after 19 months stuck in the country.
2010 Feb 11, A Libyan appeal
court reduced the 16-month jail sentence of Max Goeldi, a Swiss
businessman, for overstaying his visa to four months.
2010 Feb 15, Libya suspended
the issuing of entry visas to European citizens apart from British
nationals. Italy's foreign ministry confirmed the measure and said
it was in retaliation for Switzerland's recent decision to publish a
blacklist of 180 Libyans banned from entering the country.
2010 Feb 19, The German Tax
Union said about 2,500 people in Germany have confessed to tax
evasion to avoid punishment amid a heated debate over whether
authorities should buy stolen data from Swiss bank accounts.
2010 Feb 22, In Libya Rashid
Hamdani, one of two Swiss businessmen held in Libya for 19 months
amid a diplomatic row between the two states, left for home as Max
Goeldi emerged from his country's embassy to serve 4 months in jail.
Goeldi was released on June 10 and prepared to fly home.
(AFP, 2/22/10)(AFP, 6/11/10)
2010 Feb 25, Libyan leader
Moamer Kadhafi turned up the heat in his country's dispute with
Switzerland, calling for jihad over a recent Swiss ban on the
construction of minarets.
2010 Feb 28, In Switzerland
operators restarted the Large Hadron Collider following a winter
shutdown for improvements.
(SFC, 3/1/10, p.A2)
2010 Feb, In a reversal,
Switzerland's top court said at least US$4.6 million in Swiss bank
accounts previously awarded to charities must be returned to the
family of Duvalier. Many in Haiti considered the money to have been
stolen from public funds before Duvalier was ousted.
2010 Mar 9, In Switzerland a
senior Google executive welcomed a US decision to relax restrictions
on exporting Internet communications services to Iran, Sudan and
2010 Mar 13, The Swiss daily
Neue Zuercher Zeitung quoted Swiss Abbot Martin Werlen saying around
60 people over the last 15 years have reported being victims of
abuse by Catholic priests in Switzerland.
2010 Mar 24, Switzerland said
it will lift a travel ban on senior Libyan officials to ease
tensions in a dispute that has drawn in much of Europe. The Swiss
government expressed hope that Libya would respond by ending visa
restrictions against citizens of Switzerland and 24 other nations in
Europe's passport-free zone.
2010 Mar 25, In Switzerland the
Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council (HRC) voted 20-17 for a text
that lists the “defamation of religion" as an infringement of
(Econ, 4/3/10, p.62)
2010 Mar 26, Germany and
Switzerland said they have reached a preliminary deal on an
agreement to exchange information on suspected tax cheats, an
important step toward defusing a long-festering irritant in their
2010 Mar 27, Libya lifted a
visa ban on citizens of 25 European countries after EU president
Spain said a Swiss-instigated visa blacklist against 188 Libyans in
those countries had been scrapped.
2010 Mar 28, In Switzerland an
armed gang of masked men raided the Grand Casino, packed with about
600 guests near Basel, and made off with hundreds of thousands of
2010 Mar 30, In Switzerland
scientists cheered the historic crash of two proton beams at the
CERN Large Hadron Collider.
(SFC, 3/31/10, p.A4)
2010 Mar 31, Swiss authorities
said they could not reopen a money-laundering case against the
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as long as he enjoys legal
2010 Apr 7, In Switzerland the
Solar Impulse aircraft, a pioneering Swiss bid to fly around the
world on solar energy, successfully completed its first test flight.
2010 Apr 12, A Swiss court
rejected Hannibal Gadhafi's demand for 100,000 Swiss francs
($94,500) in reparations for the publication of a police mug shot
from his 2008 arrest in Geneva. Gadhafi was arrested in 2008 for
allegedly beating up his servants in a luxury hotel. He was later
released and charges were dropped.
2010 Apr 15, In Switzerland 3
people, members of the Italian terrorist group Il Silvestre, were
arrested with explosives in traffic two miles from an IBM nanotech
center near Zurich. The alleged eco-terrorists went on trial in
(http://tinyurl.com/3hsk53d)(SFC, 7/20/11, p.A2)
2010 May 9, A plume of volcanic
ash snaked its way through southern France, Switzerland, Italy and
Germany, shutting down airports and disrupting flights across
2010 Apr, In Switzerland a
police probe began after muddy, encrusted urns filled with human
ashes were discovered accidentally by divers near Zurich's
extravagantly wealthy "Gold Coast" only 5 miles (8 km) from the city
center. Speculation connected the urns to Dignitas, a Swiss group
that has helped hundreds of people, including Americans, Britons,
Germans and Frenchmen, take their lives in recent years. A probe
against Dignitas founder Ludwig A. Minelli in connection with the
urns was dropped July 28.
(AP, 4/28/10)(AP, 8/4/10)
2010 May 28, A Swiss man fined
for nude hiking won an appeal of the 100-franc ($87) penalty because
a court decided that the charge of "indecent behavior" did not
2010 Jun 9, The Technology
Academy of Finland awarded Michael Graetzel of Switzerland, a
German-born chemist, the international Millennium Technology Prize
for inventing low-cost solar cells used in renewable energy. The
prize included euro800,000 ($960,000).
2010 Jun 12, In Switzerland a
bus carrying 48 Canadian tourists crashed in the canton of Valais,
killing two people and injuring at least 15 others, five of them
2010 Jun 13, Libya said that
Switzerland has paid $1.5 million for mistreating Moammar Gadhafi's
son during his arrest there in 2008, and Switzerland expected the
return of Max Goeldi , a citizen held in Tripoli, as the countries
ended a two-year diplomatic row.
2010 Jun 15, The Swiss
parliament approved a treaty with the US that will hand thousands of
files on suspected tax cheats to US authorities, but obstacles
remain that could delay the deal for several more months.
2010 Jun 28, In Switzerland
Alfred Donath (78), a Jewish activist who helped Holocaust victims
and their heirs recover money from Swiss banks, died. Donath was the
vice president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities when
Swiss banks reached an out-of-court settlement in 1998 to pay
Holocaust victims and their heirs $1.25 billion. He led the
organization from 2000 to 2008.
2010 Jul 8, In Switzerland an
experimental solar-powered plane completed its first 24-hour test
flight successfully, proving that the aircraft can collect enough
energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night.
2010 Jul 12, The Swiss
government declared renowned film director Roman Polanski a free man
after rejecting a US request to extradite him on a charge of having
sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl. The Swiss mostly blamed US
authorities for failing to provide confidential testimony about
Polanski's sentencing procedure in 1977-1978.
2010 Jul 23, Switzerland's
popular Glacier Express tourist train derailed in the Alps, killing
one person and injuring 42.
2010 Jul 23, A Dutch court
slapped a one million euro fine on Trafigura, a Swiss-based company
whose chartered ship dumped hazardous waste the Ivory Coast says
killed 17 people on its soil. It was also found guilty of concealing
what the charge sheet referred to as the "harmful nature" of the
waste on board the Probo Koala ship that arrived at the port of
Amsterdam on July 2, 2006, but was redirected to the Ivory Coast.
2010 Aug 16, Teams from
Australia, Germany and Switzerland have set off from Geneva in
electric vehicles for what they hope will be the first carbon
neutral race around the world. The race set up by Swiss inventor
Louis Palmer will pass through 150 cities including Berlin, Moscow,
Shanghai, Los Angeles and Cancun before returning to Geneva in
January after 18,642 miles (30,000 km) on the road.
2010 Aug 28, In Switzerland
former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld hit out against the "corrupt"
US judiciary which sent him to jail even though he was the
whistleblower who led to the US tax fraud case against the bank.
“Why am I the only one in prison when I had revealed everything?"
Birkenfeld's revelations about the bank had led to US tax
authorities' offensive against UBS in 2008. In a prosecution through
US courts, the bank was forced to hand over 300 client names and pay
a 780-million-dollar fine.
2010 Sep 22, Swiss women for
the first time captured most of the seats in the country's
seven-member executive branch, brushing aside Switzerland's history
as one of Europe's last nations to grant women full suffrage.
2010 Oct 8, The Swiss Im
Grueene Foundation awarded Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales $104,000
for “democratizing the access to knowledge."
(SFC, 10/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 15, Swiss engineers
smashed through the last stretch of rock to create the world's
longest tunnel (35.4 miles), The Gotthard Base rail tunnel, sparking
a national groundswell of elation over a costly, technically
difficult project that has been 60 years in the making.
(AP, 10/15/10)(SFC, 10/15/10, p.A5)
2010 Oct 20, Swiss mining giant
Xstrata said that it would spend 4.9 billion rands (710 million
dollars, 510 million euros) on expanding a ferrochrome smelter in
2010 Nov 5, Swiss adventurer
Yves Rossy (51) jumped from a hot-air balloon near Lake Geneva and
completed two aerial loops using his custom-made jet-propelled
(SFC, 11/6/10, p.A2)
2010 Nov 15, In Switzerland
Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev (43) warned reporters not to
cover his divorce case as his wife Elena demanded $6 billion from
the man known as the “fertilizer king" for a fortune amassed in
potash mining. According to Forbes, he was the 60th richest person
in the world in 2008.
(SFC, 11/16/10, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/32lymtu)
2010 Nov 16, In Switzerland a
rare pink diamond was auctioned for a record $46,158,674 to London
jeweler Laurence Graff.
(SFC, 11/17/10, p.A2)
2010 Nov 17, Scientists at CERN
reported that they have stored 38 atoms of the antimatter called
antihydrogen for a tiny fraction of a second. The first antihydrogen
atoms were made 15 years ago at CERN.
(SFC, 11/18/10, p.A9)
2010 Nov 28, Swiss voters
approved a plan to automatically deport foreigners found guilty of
committing serious crimes or benefit fraud. Swiss national
broadcaster SF1 says 52.9% of voters backed the proposal put forward
by the nationalist Swiss People's Party, or SVP. Anti-racism groups
bemoaned that the SVP's posters showing white sheep kicking black
sheep off a Swiss flag played on stereotypical images of foreigners
2010 Dec 6, In Switzerland six
world powers held their first meeting in 14 months with Iran over
its disputed nuclear program, sounding out Tehran's intentions after
it claimed to have taken a new step in making fissile material.
2010 Dec 7, In Switzerland 6
world powers wrapped up two days of "substantive" talks with Iran on
its contentious nuclear program, with the two sides agreeing to meet
again in Istanbul next month.
2010 Dec 18, Germany’s weekly
Der Spiegel reported that local tax authorities recovered 1.6
billion euros this year from citizens who had stashed their cash in
secret accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
2010 Dec 22, In Rome, Italy,
all embassies were informed about a pair of package bombs that
exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies, injuring two people who
2011 Jan 14, The Swiss National
Bank said it expects its loss in 2010 to reach 21 billion Swiss
francs, as the country's strengthening currency pared down the
bank's foreign currency holdings.
2011 Jan 16, Swiss
whistleblower Rudolf Elmer is planning to handover to WikiLeaks two
CDs containing data of around 2,000 bank clients who may have been
evading taxes, according to an interview published today.
2011 Jan 17, Angry Swiss
lawmakers called for the ouster of US diplomats suspected of
illegally spying on people around their diplomatic missions, in a
standoff over the use of counterterrorism measures.
2011 Jan 17, WikiLeaks founder
Julian Assange vowed to publish secret details of offshore accounts
after Rudolf Elmer, a Swiss banking whistleblower, handed over data
on 2,000 purportedly tax-dodging individuals and firms.
(AFP, 1/17/11)(SSFC, 1/23/11, p.A5)
2011 Jan 19, Switzerland's
federal council said it has agreed to freeze any assets of Tunisia's
ousted president and the incumbent leader of Ivory Coast.
2011 Jan 26, The World Economic
Forum opened at Davos, Switzerland. Participants wrestled with the
thorny questions surfaced by the explosion of online information and
the WikiLeaks phenomenon in particular.
2011 Jan 28, In Switzerland
Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former member of the group that created
WikiLeaks, said a new platform called OpenLeaks will allow sources
to choose specifically who they want to submit documents to
anonymously, such as to a particular news outlet. He hoped it would
be fully operational later this year.
2011 Feb 1, Switzerland blocked
Haiti ex-dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier's frozen Swiss
millions under new legislation that came into force today to ease
their return to the impoverished country. The "Duvalier law" was
rushed through parliament last year to ease the restitution of
assets stolen by corrupt or greedy politicians to their home
2011 Feb 3, In southern Italy
Matthias Kaspar Schepp (43), a Canadian-born resident of
Switzerland, was found dead by a railway station of an apparent
suicide. Swiss police said they still had no evidence of the
whereabouts of his twin daughters, Alessia and Livia (6), reported
missing on Jan 30. The girls were last seen on a ferry to the French
island of Corsica four days before their father apparently killed
himself in Italy.
(SFC, 2/8/11, p.A5)(AP, 2/9/11)
2011 Feb 10, In western
Switzerland a Roman Catholic diocese said it has suspended two
priests after allegations they sexually abused minors.
2011 Feb 11, Switzerland froze
any assets belonging to Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak or his family.
(SFC, 2/12/11, p.A5)
2011 Feb 11, In Switzerland a
twin-engine plane crashed at an altitude of 9,200 feet (2,800
meters) in the Val d'Anniviers near the border with Italy. A Swiss
pilot and a French family of 4 were killed in the crash.
2011 Feb 13, Switzerland, which
has the highest rate of suicide by firearms in Europe, voted to hold
fast to its long-standing tradition of letting citizens keep
army-issue weapons at home.
2011 Feb 14, A Swiss court said
an Iranian man convicted of heroin trafficking will be expelled and
returned to his home country, even though the man claimed that he
could be persecuted for being homosexual.
2011 Feb 17, Swiss media
reported that a private helicopter carrying five people has crashed
near the western Swiss ski resort of Les Diablerets.
2011 Mar 1, Swedish carmaker
SAAB, now owned by Spyker Cars, showed off its new PhoeniX prototype
at the Geneva motor show.
(Econ, 4/9/11, p.72)(http://tinyurl.com/3bmnxnx)
2011 Mar 14, The Swiss
government suspended plans to replace and build new nuclear plants
pending a review of two hydrogen explosions at Japanese plants.
2011 Mar 26, In Switzerland 1
person was missing after an avalanche swept away 11 French skiers
near the southern border with Italy. 4 people were killed.
2011 Mar 31, In Switzerland a
letter bomb exploded at an office of the Swiss nuclear power
industry in the northern city of Olten, injuring two people.
2011 Apr 1, In Switzerland 3
people were killed and one was injured on after seven ski hikers
from Germany were swept away by a giant avalanche high in the
southwestern Swiss Alps.
2011 Apr 1, Greek authorities
said an Italian radical anarchist group, the Informal Anarchist
Federation, has claimed responsibility for three mail bomb attacks
on a Greek prison, an office of the Swiss nuclear power industry and
an Italian military barracks.
(AP, 4/1/11)(SFC, 4/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Apr 14, Glencore, a
Swiss-based mining company, said it would list 20% of its shares in
London and Hong Kong in an IPO that will raise as much as $11
(Econ, 4/16/11, p.68)
2011 Apr 27, Health products
giant Johnson & Johnson said it will buy US-Swiss medical device
maker Synthes Inc. for $21.3 billion, greatly increasing its share
of the market for surgical trauma equipment and orthopedic implants.
2011 May 2, The Swiss
government said it has identified potential assets belonging to
Libya’s Moammar Khadafy and his entourage amounting to $415 million.
Assets of $473 million were also found linked to Egypt’s Hosni
Mubarak and $69 million to Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
(SFC, 5/3/11, p.AA2)
2011 May 13, Pioneering Swiss
solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse landed in Brussels after a
12-hour flight from Switzerland, the futuristic aircraft's first
2011 May 17, The Swiss-based
World Health Organization said it will cut $1 billion from its next
budget because of financial problems among rich donor nations and
the exchange rate for the weak US dollar.
2011 May 18, The Swiss
government passed a measure restricting arms sales to Syria and
freezing the assets and banning the travel to Switzerland of 13
senior Syrian officials.
2011 May 19, Takeda
Pharmaceutical Co. said it will buy Switzerland's Nycomed for $13.6
billion, giving Japan's biggest drugmaker coveted access to emerging
2011 May 25, The Swiss
government said it will decommission all its nuclear power plants.
2011 Jun 27, A Swiss man (62)
appeared in court accused of drugging and sexually abusing some 50
girls at a camp and a private boarding school between 1996 and his
arrest in 2007. On July 1 the man was sentenced to 13 years in
prison and ordered to pay his victims 65,000 Swiss francs ($77,000).
(AP, 6/27/11)(AP, 7/1/11)
2011 Jun 27, In Geneva more
than 80 states began meeting for the first four-day intercessional
meeting on the Convention on Cluster Munitions to advance their
commitments to a world free of cluster bombs. During the meeting
Thailand and Cambodia indicated their intention to join in the near
2011 Jul 1, In Pakistan 2 Swiss
tourists, David Och and Daniela Widmer, were kidnapped in southwest
Baluchistan province. The couple were reported freed on March 15,
(AP, 7/2/11)(AP, 3/15/12)
2011 Jul 14, Switzerland
suspended imports of some seeds, beans and sprouts from Egypt, after
the EU blamed Egyptian fenugreek seeds for E.coli outbreaks in
Germany and France. The temporary ban would expire in October 31,
2011, in line with the EU's suspension.
2011 Jul 17, In Switzerland the
son of an American UN diplomat was attacked by up to a dozen
assailants in Geneva, who beat him with metal rods and attempted to
throw him into the river Rhone before a passing cyclist raised the
2011 Aug 23, The Geneva-based
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said it is
lifting the freeze on funding to China to ensure AIDS work in the
country continues while it works with government officials,
representatives from United Nations' agencies and private groups to
resolve the dispute.
2011 Sep 6, The Swiss franc
dropped sharply after the country's central bank pegged it against
2011 Sep 15, British police
arrested Kweku Adoboli (31) in London after the rogue trader at
Swiss bank UBS lost an estimated $2.3 billion in unauthorized
trades. On Sep 24 UBS announced the resignation of CEO Oswald
(AFP, 9/15/11)(AFP, 9/16/11)(SSFC, 9/25/11,
2011 Sep 22, It was reported
that CERN physicists have found that tiny particles called neutrinos
are making a 454-mile (730-km) underground trip faster than they
should, more quickly, in fact, than light could do. If the results
are confirmed, they could throw much of modern physics into
upheaval. Researchers in 2012 published papers that refuted the
faster than light neutrino travel.
p.A5)(Econ, 3/24/12, p.82)
2011 Oct 6, Britain and
Switzerland signed an agreement to tax money kept by British
residents in secret Swiss bank accounts, a move which could net the
British government billions of pounds and help Swiss banking clean
up its image. The deal, which must still be approved by the
parliaments of both countries, should come into force in 2013.
2011 Oct 14, A British pilot
(29) and his passenger (40) died in the crash of their small plane
2011 Oct 23, Switzerland held
national elections. Citizens were poised to hand nationalists an
unprecedented 30 percent voice, following voting dominated by
concerns about immigration, nuclear power and the economy.
2011 Oct 25, In Geneva US and
North Korean officials concluded their two-day talks about
Pyongyang's nuclear program. Top US envoy Stephen Bosworth expressed
confidence about the prospects of restarting long-stalled nuclear
negotiations after two days of "very positive" talks with North
2011 Oct 31, Zimbabwe state
media said President Robert Mugabe has warned Switzerland he would
"reciprocate" after his wife and top officials were denied visas to
attend a UN meeting in that country.
2011 Nov 30, Amid fears of a
eurozone collapse, central banks of the United States, the eurozone,
Britain, Japan, Canada and Switzerland said that they would cut the
cost of providing dollars to banks. The move pushed the DJIA up 490
points, its biggest gain since March 2009.
(AFP, 12/1/11)(SFC, 12/1/11, p.D1)
2011 Nov, The Swiss Cabinet
decided to order 22 Gripen fighters from Sweden's Saab AB to replace
the air force's aging Northrop F-5 Tigers.
2011 Dec 13, Scientists at
CERN, Switzerland, announced the possible discovery of the Higgs
boson, a fundamental particle proposed by British researcher Peter
Higgs in 1964.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.137)
2011 Alice Odiot authored
"Commodities: Switzerland's Most Dangerous Business." It looks at
the social and environmental impact on Zambia and the Mopani Copper
Mines owned by Swiss giant Glencore.
2012 Jan 9, Swiss National Bank
chief Philipp Hildebrand resigned acknowledging he could not prove
his innocence amid a public uproar over his private currency deals.
Dollar swaps last year netted him and his wife tens of thousands in
(SFC, 1/10/12, p.A2)
2012 Jan 24, The Coryton
refinery in Essex, one of Britain's largest oil refineries halted
sales, casting doubt over the future of 1,000 jobs and putting
petrol supplies at risk. Petroplus, its Swiss owner, said it would
file for insolvency. It had bought the refinery from BP in 2007.
2012 Jan 25, Corporate leaders
gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was the opening speaker.
(Econ, 1/21/12, p.76)(Econ, 1/28/12, p.51)
2012 Jan 27, Fitch ratings
downgraded the debt of Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia and Spain
even as European finance chiefs gathering in Davos sought to
reassure global business leaders that Europe is on track to solve
its debt crises.
(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A4)
2012 Jan 28, At Davos,
Switzerland, 3 topless Ukrainian protesters were detained while
trying to break into an invitation-only gathering of international
CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the
world's poor. Separately, demonstrators from the Occupy movement
marched to the edge of the gathering.
2012 Feb 2, The US Justice
Department said it has indicted Wegelin, the oldest Swiss private
bank, on charges that it enabled wealthy Americans to evade taxes on
at least $1.2 billion hidden in offshore bank accounts. In January,
2013, a reduced Wegelin pleaded guilty in a New York court to
allowing more than 100 American citizens to hide $1.2 billion from
the Internal Revenue Service over a 10-year period.
2012 Feb 7, Swiss materials
giant Glencore and mining firm Xstrata announced a vast merger,
creating a $90 billion (€69 billion) group and the world’s 4th
largest mining company.
(AFP, 2/7/12)(Econ, 2/11/12, p.65)
2012 Feb 9, Swiss news reported
that Hafez Makhlouf, a cousin of Syria's President Bashar Assad, has
won a legal bid to unfreeze euro3 million ($4 million) held in bank
accounts in Switzerland, overturning a last-ditch effort by Swiss
prosecutors to block the release of the funds on suspicion of money
2012 Feb 17, Swiss authorities
said they have confiscated $6 trillion in counterfeit US bonds at
the request of Italian prosecutors. In Italy eight people were
arrested across the country and placed under investigation for fraud
and other crimes. The bonds, carrying the false date of issue of
1934, had been transported in 2007 from Hong Kong to Zurich, where
they were transferred to a Swiss trust.
2012 Mar 13, In Switzerland a
bus carrying Belgian students returning from a ski holiday crashed
into a wall in a tunnel near Sierre, killing 22 Belgian 12-year-olds
and six adults. Another 24 students were hospitalized with injuries.
2012 Mar 15, In Pakistan Swiss
couple David Och and Daniela Widmer, held captive for nearly a year
by the Taliban, turned up at an army post close to the Afghan
border, claiming to have escaped from their captors. Taliban
commanders said a ransom was paid in exchange for their release.
2012 Mar 27, Swiss authorities
said five out of every 1,000 deaths in Switzerland now involve
assisted suicide, with women more likely to die this way than men.
2012 Apr 20, Switzerland said
it has revised a tax pact agreed with Britain last year and will
offer it a higher rate of withholding tax, after Germany earlier
this month succeeded in obtaining more favorable terms in a similar
deal with the Swiss government.
2012 Apr 23, Swiss-based Nestle
said it would buy Pfizer Nutrition, the infant nutrition arm of
American Drug firm Pfizer, for $11.85 billion.
(Econ, 4/28/12, p.75)
2012 May 24, The jumbo jet-size
Solar Impulse, an experimental solar-powered airplane, took off from
Switzerland on its first transcontinental flight, aiming to reach
North Africa next week.
2012 Jun 17, Swiss voters
decided that they have enough democracy already, dealing a heavy
defeat to a proposal to hold more referendums on international
2012 Jun 30, In Geneva
representatives of global and regional powers accepted a UN-brokered
plan calling for creation of a transitional national unity
government in Syria. But at Russia's insistence, the compromise
agreement left the door open to Assad being part of the interim
(AP, 6/30/12)(AP, 7/1/12)
2012 Jul 4, The Swiss
government temporarily blocked all arms shipments to the United Arab
Emirates after a newspaper published a photograph indicating that a
Swiss-made hand grenade was found in Syria. The hand grenade
appearing in a photograph published July 1 by Zurich weekly
Sonntagszeitung came from a shipment of 225,162 hand grenades by
Swiss-based RUAG Holding AG to the United Arab Emirates in 2003.
2012 Jul 4, Physicists at CERN,
Switzerland, said they had found a new sub-atomic particle
consistent with the elusive Higgs boson which is believed to confer
mass. “We have discovered a boson, and now we have to determine what
kind of boson it is." Finding the Higgs would validate the Standard
Model, a theory which identifies the building blocks for matter and
the particles that convey fundamental forces.
2012 Aug 13, Julius Baer Group,
a Swiss private banking group, said it has agreed to pay 860 million
francs ($879 million) to buy Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch
wealth management operations outside the United States.
2012 Aug 23, In Switzerland the
Green Climate Fund, which aims to channel $100 billion a year in aid
to poor countries, selected as leaders Zaheer Fakir, head of
international relations for South Africa's environment agency, and
Ewen McDonald, deputy head of Australia's international development
2012 Aug 30, Swiss authorities
said a self-styled healer has been indicted by a Swiss court on
charges that he intentionally infected 16 people with HIV, the virus
that causes AIDS, in cases (2001-2005) going back more than a
2012 Oct 27, In Greece Costas
Vaxevanis, publisher of Hot Doc magazine, printed a list of 2,059
Greek depositors at a bank in Switzerland. The list, dating from
2007, was allegedly given to the Greek government by French
officials in 2010. Vaxevanis was arrested, faced trial and was
acquitted. On Oct 8, 2013, he appeared in court again to stand trial
again for violating privacy laws.
(SFC, 10/29/12, p.A2)(Econ, 11/3/12,
2012 Nov 13, In Switzerland
Christie's auctioned off the Archduke Joseph Diamond for nearly
$21.5 million, a world auction record price per carat for a
2012 Nov 20, Former UBS trader
Kweku Adoboli (32) was convicted and sentenced to seven years in
jail for the biggest fraud in British history, which resulted in a
loss of $2.3 billion for the Swiss bank. Adoboli was released on
parole in 2015 after serving about half his sentence.
(Reuters, 11/20/12)(AP, 6/24/15)
2012 Dec 19, Switzerland's UBS
AG agreed to pay some $1.5 billion in fines to international
regulators following a probe into the rigging of a key global
2012 Swiss authorities arrested
Erwin Sperisen, a former police chief in Guatemala, for planning and
directing operations to kill detainees during his tenure from
2004-2007. Sperisen had dual Swiss and Guatemalan nationality and in
2014 was sentenced in Geneva to life in prison.
(SFC, 6/7/14, p.A2)
2013 Jan 2, In Switzerland a
man armed with an old military rifle and a handgun shot and killed
three women and wounded two men in the village of Daillon. Police
shot and wounded the suspect after he threatened to also shoot
2013 Jan 13, In Geneva
delegates from more than 130 nations began a final round of
negotiations on the creation of the first legally binding treaty to
reduce mercury emissions.
(SFC, 1/14/13, p.A2)
2013 Jan 19, In Geneva more
than 140 nations adopted the first legally-binding international
treaty aimed at reducing mercury emissions, capping four years of
negotiations on how to set limits on the use of a highly toxic
metal. 50 nations must ratify it before it comes into force, which
officials said they would expect to happen within about three to
2013 Jan 26, In Switzerland 3
women from Ukrainian feminist activist group Femen, angry over
sexism and male domination of the world economy, ripped off their
shirts and tried to force their way into a gathering of corporate
elites in Davos.
2013 Jan 28, Britain received
an initial 340 million pounds from the Swiss government as part of a
deal to tackle tax evasion that the government expects will net it
some 5 billion pounds over the next six years.
2013 Feb 12, IOC leaders
meeting in Switzerland dropped wrestling from the Olympic program, a
surprise decision that removes one of the oldest Olympic sports from
the 2020 Games.
2013 Feb 14, The US Treasury
Department said that Switzerland and the United States have signed a
pact to make Swiss banks disclose information about US
2013 Feb 27, In Switzerland a
longtime employee (42) opened fire at a wood-processing company in
Menznau, leaving 3 people dead, including the assailant.
2013 Mar 3, Swiss citizens
voted on a plan, the “Rip-Off Initiative," to boost shareholders’
authority over executive pay. 68% voted in favor. The plan became
effective in 2015.
(SFC, 3/4/13, p.A2)(Econ, 3/9/13, p.64)(Econ.,
2013 May 8, Belgian, French and
Swiss authorities arrested at least 31 people in a sweep for robbers
who pulled off a diamond theft on Feb 18 with clockwork precision at
2013 May 14, The European Court
of Human Rights found that Swiss laws on passive assisted suicide
are unclear and need revising to clarify when people are entitled to
a medical prescription for a lethal dose of drugs.
2013 May 16, Heinrich Rohrer
(79), Swiss physicist and Nobel Prize winner (1986), died in
Switzerland. He is regarded as the father of nanotechnology.
(Econ, 6/1/13, p.90)
2013 May 29, The Swiss
government announced that it will let banks circumvent the country's
strict client secrecy laws as part of an effort to end a
long-running tax evasion dispute with the United States.
2013 Jun 2, Authorities in
parts of central Europe issued disaster warnings and scrambled to
reinforce flood defenses as rivers swelled by days of heavy rain
threatened to burst their banks. Several people have died or were
missing in the floods in Germany, the Czech Republic and
2013 Jun 26, In Switzerland
financier Marc Rich (b.1934) died of a stroke at a hospital in
Lucerne. During the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, Rich used his
Middle East contacts to purchase crude oil from Iran and Iraq and
made a fortune selling it to American companies.
2013 Jul 19, In Switzerland the
world's top particle physics lab said it had measured the decay time
of a particle known as a Bs (B sub s) meson into two other
fundamental particles called muons, which are much heavier than but
similar to electrons. It was observed as part of the reams of data
coming from CERN's $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, the world's
largest atom smasher.
2013 Jul 25, In Switzerland a
member of the notorious "Pink Panther" jewel thief gang escaped from
prison after accomplices rammed a gate and overpowered guards with
bursts from their AK-47s. Milan Poparic (34) fled with fellow inmate
Adrian Albrecht (52) from the Orbe prison in the western canton
(state) of Vaud.
2013 Jul 29, In Switzerland two
trains collided head-on late today, injuring 26 people and killing
the driver of one at Granges-près-Marnand in the canton of Vaud.
2013 Aug 14, In Switzerland
British stuntman Mark Sutton (42) was killed during a gathering
organized by Online extreme sports involving 20 wingsuit pilots who
were filmed as they jumped from helicopters.
2013 Aug 26, Zurich,
Switzerland, launched publicly funded, drive-in, open wooden garages
to make prostitution less of a public nuisance and safer for women.
2013 Sep 10, Lawmakers in
Switzerland, where prostitution is legal, agreed to make it a
criminal act to pay for sex with anyone who is under 18 years old.
2013 Sep 22, Switzerland voted
overwhelmingly to keep military conscription, the 3rd time its
citizens had rejected an attempt to reconstitute an institution
regarded by many Swiss as a national glue.
2013 Sep 22, Switzerland's
Italian-speaking region was on course to ban the wearing of a
full-face veil, projected results from a referendum showed.
2013 Sep 27, The Swiss
government urged voters to reject a Nov 24 proposal to limit monthly
executive pay to no more than what the company's lowest-paid staff
earn in a year, saying it could hurt the attractiveness of
Switzerland as a business destination.
2013 Oct 10, Iraq's prime
minister said his country has signed a $6 billion contract with
Swiss company Satarem to build and run an oil refinery in the
southern province of Maysan.
2013 Oct 18, Swiss customs
agents said they have seized one million fake tablets of
anti-anxiety drug Xanax at the Zurich airport, which were destined
for Egypt. The counterfeit tablets, packed in four crates and
weighing 400kg, had originated in China, according to Swissmedic,
the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products.
2013 Oct 23, Swiss-based
petrochemical firm Ineos said it would close its Grangemouth plant
in Scotland with the loss of hundreds of jobs after failing to
resolve a bitter labor dispute.
2013 Oct 23, A Swiss Air Force
F/A-18 jet went down near a military airport in Alpnach in the Lake
2013 Nov 7, Swiss scientists
confirmed that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ingested lethal
radioactive polonium before his death in 2004 and had high levels of
it in his body that could not have been accidental. Palestinian
officials have alleged from the start that Israel poisoned Arafat.
2013 Nov 13, In Switzerland an
enormous diamond known as "The Pink Star" sold for more than $83
million at auction in Geneva. Sotheby's said the sale is the highest
price ever paid for a gemstone at auction.
2013 Nov 26, In Switzerland the
director-general of the World Trade Organization said negotiators
have failed to craft the first global trade deal in more than a
decade, which could have given the world economy a $1 trillion
2013 Dec 18, The Swiss
government said it has decided to keep 760 million Swiss francs
($858 million) in Egyptian and Tunisian assets frozen for three more
2013 Dec 22, NY-based Tiffany
& Co. said it was ordered to pay Swatch Group AG about 402
million Swiss francs ($449 million) in compensation over a
contractual dispute. The Netherlands Arbitration Institute also
required Tiffany to pay more than $9 million for the Swiss
watchmaker's legal fees and the cost of arbitration.
2013 Swiss novelist Joel Dicker
authored “The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair." In 2014 the
popular novel was published in English.
(Econ, 4/19/14, p.78)
2014 Jan 5, In southern
Switzerland 4 skiers were killed and another was in a critical
condition after a series of avalanches hit the Alps.
2014 Jan 22, In Switzerland
peace talks intended to carve a path out of Syria's civil war got
off to a rocky start in Montreux as a bitter clash over President
Bashar Assad's future threatened to collapse the negotiations even
before they really begin. On Jan 24 the talks moved to Geneva.
(AP, 1/22/14)(Econ, 1/25/14, p.37)
2014 Jan 23, Iran’s President
Hassan Rouhani told the World Economic Forum in Davos that Tehran
was ready to help create a new multilateral body tasked with
stabilising global energy supplies. Rouhani also called for free and
fair elections in Syria, saying it would respect any outcome.
(AFP, 1/23/14)(AP, 1/23/14)
2014 Jan 25, In Switzerland the
first face-to-face meeting between Syria's government and the
opposition hoping to overthrow President Bashar Assad ended after
barely a half-hour, with the two sides facing each other silently as
a UN mediator laid groundwork for talks.
2014 Jan 26, Syrians on
opposite sides of their country's civil war tried again to find
common ground in Geneva. The UN mediator said the two sides have
reached a deal to allow women and children to leave Homs, a city
under government siege for more than a year.
2014 Jan 27, In Geneva the
first meeting meant to discuss the issue of a Syrian transitional
government broke up less than an hour after it began following a
tense session that one delegate described as "a dialogue of the
deaf." UN envoy Brahimi broke up the meeting and was scheduled to
meet with both sides separately later in the day.
2014 Feb 9, Swiss voters
narrowly backed proposals to reintroduce immigration quotas with the
European Union. 50.3% backed the so-called "Stop mass immigration"
2014 Feb 10, Peace talks
between the Syrian government and the opposition resumed in Geneva.
2014 Feb 16, Switzerland told
the newest EU member, Croatia, that it will not be able to sign a
labor market pact as planned on July 1, following a shock referendum
vote in favor of immigration curbs.
2014 Feb 17, Ethiopian Airlines
co-pilot Hailemedehin Abera Tagegn (31) locked his colleague out of
the cockpit, hijacked a Rome-bound plane and landed in Geneva, all
in an attempt to seek asylum in Switzerland. On March 16, 2015,
Tagegn was convicted in absentia by Ethiopia’s high court.
(AP, 2/17/14)(AFP, 2/17/14)
2014 Feb 28, Switzerland,
Austria and Liechtenstein moved to freeze assets and bank accounts
of up to 20 Ukrainians including ousted president Viktor Yanukovich
and his son, after Ukraine's new rulers said billions had gone
2014 Mar 10, Switzerland froze
the assets and bank accounts of nine more Ukrainians, including
another son of ousted president Viktor Yanukovich and the son of a
former prime minister, all of whom are suspected of human rights
abuses and misuse of state funds.
2014 Mar 10, The office of
Switzerland's attorney general said its criminal investigation into
former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford's massive Ponzi scheme has
concluded that some of the victims' money was laundered in Swiss
2014 Mar 12, Swiss authorities
said they have opened a money laundering investigation into Gulnara
Karimova, the eldest daughter of Uzbekistan's Pres. Islam Karimov,
related to the country's telecommunications market.
2014 Mar 28, Russia said
Switzerland has imposed restrictions on military exports to Russia
over events in Ukraine which were counterproductive and not in line
with the country's policy of neutrality.
2014 Mar 31, Switzerland's
competition regulator named eight global banks it is investigating
for possible manipulation of foreign exchange rates. It cited the
two largest Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, along with Zurich
Cantonal Bank, Julius Baer and JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays
Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
2014 Mar, Swiss authorities
arrested three Iraqi citizens who were suspected of providing
support to Islamic State and planning an attack in Europe. The
arrests were first reported in September and confirmed by the
government in October.
2014 Apr 2, The Swiss
government said it has decided not to adopt European Union sanctions
against 33 people in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea,
but will prevent them from using Switzerland to get around the visa
bans and asset freezes.
2014 Apr 7, Swiss-based Holcim
and its French counterpart, Lafarge, two of the world's largest
suppliers of building materials, announced plans for a merger of
2014 Apr 11, The Swiss
government said the Palestinians can join the Geneva Conventions
governing the rules of war and military occupations, twenty-five
years after they made their first bid for membership.
2014 Apr 11, Switzerland said
it will hand over to Tunisia $40 million (29 million euros) stashed
in Swiss bank accounts by the family of ousted dictator Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali. Investigations into the origin of $28.5 million
2014 Apr 13, Glencore, based in
Switzerland, said it has signed an agreement to sell its entire
interest in the Peruvian Las Bambas copper mine to a consortium led
by MMG Ltd., a mining company controlled by state-owned China
Minmetals Nonferrous Metals Co. Ltd.
2014 Apr 22, Swiss
pharmaceutical firm Novartis AG launched a major overhaul of its
business, unveiling a series of multibillion-dollar deals with
Britain's GlaxoSmithKline PLC and the U.S.'s Eli Lilly & Co.
2014 Apr 30, Switzerland said
it will grant workers from Croatia access to its labor market in a
bid to kickstart treaty negotiations with the EU that were frozen
after Swiss voters approved curbs on immigration.
2014 May 7, Switzerland’s
Kunstmuseum Bern said that it has been named as the unrestricted and
unfettered heir of German art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, who a day
(SFC, 5/8/14, p.A2)(AFP, 5/13/14)
2014 May 7, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin urged that a planned May 11 referendum on autonomy in
southeast Ukraine be postponed. In a meeting with Swiss president
Didier Burkhalter, Putin also called on Ukraine's military to halt
all operations against pro-Russia activists who have seized
government buildings and police stations across at least a dozen
towns in eastern Ukraine.
2014 May 19, A Swiss court
ordered Dmitry Rybolovlev of Monaco to pay his ex-wife, Elena
Rybolovlev, 4,020,555,987.80 Swiss francs to settle their divorce
after a 6-year legal fight. The Russian billionaire had made his
fortune in potash mining. Forbes estimated his worth at $8.8
(SFC, 5/20/14, p.A2)
2014 May 19, Swiss-based Credit
Suisse pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of having helped its
customers elude America’s tax authorities. The bank was fined $2.8
(Econ, 5/24/14, p.65)
2014 Jun 2, The Swiss-made
Solar Impulse 2 airplane made a successful inaugural flight as its
makers prepare for what they hope will be the first round-the-world
2014 Jun 12, Swiss authorities
said they have arrested Swiss winemaker Dominique Giroud, a spy and
two others on charges of hacking the computers of at least two
2014 Jul 9, A Swiss prosecutor
brought charges against former Julius Baer private banker Rudolf
Elmer for allegedly handing over confidential data to WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange and attempting to pass on files to German
2014 Aug 6, In Switzerland a
man arrested a day earlier, for suspected involvement in the theft
and leaking of a medical file on injured ex-Formula One champion
Michael Schumacher, was found hanged in his cell.
2014 Aug 24, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Roche said it is buying InterMune of Brisbane,
Ca., for $8.3 billion in an all cash transaction.
(SFC, 8/25/14, p.D1)
2014 Aug 27, Switzerland said
Russian banks will require approval to issue long-term financial
instruments in Switzerland, as it detailed measures to ensure it
does not become a place for individuals or funds to avoid European
sanctions on Moscow.
2014 Sep 4, In Switzerland some
200 experts huddled in Geneva to debate experimental treatments for
the Ebola virus as the world's worst-ever outbreak raged in west
2014 Sep 18, In Switzerland
some 200 companies pledged to create new work and training
opportunities for Europe's young jobseekers, of which one out of
four is unemployed.
2014 Sep 30, The Swiss-based
WWF issued a report saying about 3,000 species of wildlife around
the world have seen their numbers plummet far worse than previously
2014 Oct 2, In France a
helicopter that took off from neighboring Switzerland crashed in the
yard of a home in eastern France, killing at least 5 people in the
town of Bart.
2014 Nov 3, In Switzerland the
bodies of 3 Portuguese citizens were discovered near a train station
in the Swiss Alps town of Wilderswill, amid reports of a
2014 Nov 16, On the
Italian-Swiss border at least 4 people were killed as landslides
triggered by torrential rain slammed into houses and buildings on
either side of the border.
2014 Nov 19, In Switzerland
scientists at CERN, the world's largest smasher, said they have
discovered two new subatomic particles never seen before that could
widen our understanding of the universe. The new particles, which
were predicted to exist, are both baryons made from three quarks
bound together by a strong force.
2014 Nov 24, Switzerland’s
Kunstmuseum Bern agreed to accept a priceless collection of
long-hidden art from the late German collector Cornelius Gurlitt,
saying it will work closely with Germany to make sure that any
pieces looted by the Nazis are returned to their Jewish owners.
2014 Nov 30, Swiss voters
overwhelmingly rejected three citizen-backed proposals to protect
the country's wealth by investing in gold, drastically limit
immigration and eliminate a special tax that draws rich foreigners.
2014 Dec 11, Swiss authorities
charged Herve Falciani, a fugitive banking analyst, with data theft
in what is considered to be one of the biggest security breaches in
the country's often-secretive banking sector. He has been accused of
stealing stole information between 2006 and 2007 relating to 24,000
customers of the Swiss division of HSBC.
2014 Dec 17, In Geneva the
international community delivered a stinging rebuke to Israel's
settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, saying
the practice violates its responsibilities as an occupying power in
a declaration adopted by consensus among 126 of the 196 parties to
the Fourth Geneva Convention.
2014 Dec 17, The United States
slapped sanctions on Dutch and Swiss oil trading firms for their
dealings with the Syrian government. This put Netherlands-based
Staroil B.V. as well as two Swiss-based firms, Rixo International
Trading Ltd and Bluemarine SA, on its list of sanctioned entities,
which effectively cuts them off from the US financial system.
2014 Dec 18, Switzerland sought
to prevent the Swiss franc from breaching upper limits imposed on
the currency by introducing negative interest rates on commercial
bank deposits following the fallout of the slide in the Russian
2015 Jan 15, Switzerland
ditched an increasingly expensive policy to limit the export-sapping
rise of the Swiss franc — a decision that propelled the currency a
whopping 30 percent higher against the euro within minutes.
2015 Jan 19, Oxfam
International said in a report released as the World Economic Forum
begins in Davos, Switzerland, that the richest 1 percent of the
population will own more than half the world's wealth by 2016.
2015 Jan 21, In Switzerland the
annual 3-day World Economic Forum (WEF) opened in Davos. The theme
this year was “the new global context".
(Econ, 1/17/15, p.66)
2015 Jan 21, In Switzerland
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko courted European support World
Economic Forum in Davos against what he says are 9,000 Russian
troops occupying 7 percent of his nation's territory.
2015 Jan 23, In Davos,
Switzerland, political and financial leaders at the World Economic
Forum began campaigning in earnest for twin global accords aimed at
cooling the planet and easing the suffering of multitudes.
2015 Feb 1, Swiss police said
11 people have died in off-piste skiing accidents in the Swiss Alps
despite repeated avalanche warnings over the past four days.
2015 Feb 13, Meeting in Geneva
almost 200 countries agreed a draft text for a deal to fight climate
change, but put off hard choices about narrowing down a vast range
of options for limiting a damaging rise in temperatures.
2015 Feb 18, Swiss authorities
raided the offices of British banking giant HSBC's Swiss unit as
part of a money laundering probe into the bank that has been accused
of helping clients to dodge millions of dollars in taxes.
2015 Feb 20, In Switzerland two
trains slammed into each other near the city of Zurich, tipping over
carriages and injuring at least six people.
2015 Feb 21, In the Swiss Alps
an avalanche swept away a group of Italian skiers leaving 4 dead.
2015 Feb 27, Switzerland became
the first country to submit a pledge to the UN for a new global
climate deal, vowing to cut its greenhouse gas emission in half by
2030 compared with 1990 levels.
(SFC, 2/28/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 3, Australia and
Switzerland signed an accord in Canberra aimed at cracking down on
2015 Mar 9, The Solar Impulse 2
aircraft set off from Abu Dhabi on a bid to make the first
round-the-world tour. Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg (63) will trade
flying the Si2 with Bertrand Piccard. The epic journey was scheduled
to spread over five months, with a total flight time of around 25
(AFP, 3/9/15)(SFC, 3/9/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 17, Swiss officials
said they are returning to Nigeria some $380 million linked to the
country's former dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha. The money, confiscated
on the basis that the Abacha family was a criminal organization,
will now be returned to Nigeria under World Bank supervision.
2015 Mar 19, Switzerland signed
a preliminary agreement with the European Union that will make it
much harder for the 28-nation bloc's citizens to evade taxes by
hiding money in Swiss vaults.
2015 Mar 20, Europol, the
European Union's policy agency, said that raids earlier this week in
Austria, Cyprus, Slovenia and Switzerland led to 26 arrests and the
identification of 14 possible victims of the smugglers. The raids of
brothels and restaurants targeted Chinese criminal networks that
reportedly smuggled people to the continent.
2015 Mar 21, Swiss artist Hans
Erni (b.1909) died. His prolific work ranged from tiny postage
stamps to enormous frescoes.
2015 Apr 2, In Switzerland
negotiators reached a framework for a nuclear accord with Iran. US
President Barack Obama hailed it as an “historic understanding," but
senior global diplomats cautioned that hard work lies ahead to
strike a final deal.
2015 Apr 5, In Switzerland CERN
said the world's largest particle smasher has restarted after a
two-year upgrade that will allow physicists to explore uncharted
corners of the matter that makes up the universe.
2015 May 9, In Switzerland a
gunman (36) killed 3 relatives and a neighbor in a late-night
rampage in in Wuerenlingen before turning his weapon on himself.
(Reuters, 5/10/15)(SFC, 5/11/15, p.A2)
2015 May 20, CERN scientists
operating the world's biggest particle collider set a new energy
record ahead of the massive machine's full restart in June. The
Large Hadron Collider is located in a 27-km (16.8-mile) tunnel
beneath the Swiss-French border.
2015 May 23, In Geneva
delegates from the WHO's 194 member states approved the creation of
a $100 million fund to help the World Health Organization respond
rapidly to emergencies.
2015 May 27, Swiss police
detained seven FIFA leaders in a dawn raid as part of a twin
corruption inquiry that rocked world football's governing body two
days before its leader Sepp Blatter seeks a new term. 14 people were
indicted in a separate US graft probe. Three Argentine officials
were included in the US indictment.
(AFP, 5/27/15)(SSFC, 5/31/15, p.A4)(Econ,
2015 May 29, In Switzerland
Sepp Blatter was re-elected president of FIFA for a fifth term after
his only challenger conceded defeat in an election overshadowed by
allegations of rampant corruption in world soccer.
2015 May 31, Swiss pilot Andre
Borschberg took off from Nanjing, China, for a six day flight to
Hawaii in the solar powered Solar Impulse. This was the 7th of
twelve flights in the round the world journey. Borschberg made an
unscheduled stop in Japan on June 1 to wait out bad weather.
(SFC, 6/1/15, p.A2)(SFC, 6/2/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 2, In Switzerland Sepp
Blatter, recently re-elected president of FIFA for a fifth term,
announced that he would resign. Blatter said he would remain
president until a new election can be set up, sometime between
December and March.
2015 Jun 3, In Switzerland the
upper house of parliament voted through a bill dubbed "Lex FIFA",
aimed at cracking down on corruption inside international
2015 Jun 4, In Geneva,
Switzerland, prosecutors said HSBC will pay 40 million Swiss francs
($43 million) to settle an investigation over allegations the bank
helped rich clients avoid taxes.
2015 Jun 11, In Switzerland
FIFA's top spokesman left his job, hours after Sepp Blatter was
urged to do the same by the European Parliament.
2015 Jun 12, Journalist Emin
Huseynov flew out of Azerbaijan on the plane of Swiss diplomat
Didier Burkhalter (35). The opposition journalist had been
sheltering for 10 months at the Swiss embassy in Baku.
2015 Jun 15, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the Geneva discussions on Yemen
and called for a humanitarian ceasefire with the start of the Muslim
holy month of Ramadan.
2015 Jun 18, The 46th Art Basel
fair opened in Switzerland and continued to June 21. This year’s
fair presented 284 galleries from 33 countries, showing works by
more than 4,000 artists.
(Econ, 6/13/15, p.64)(http://tinyurl.com/ogwjkoq)
2015 Jun 22, Bosnia asked
Switzerland to hand over Naser Oric, the wartime Muslim defender of
Srebrenica, and not extradite him to Serbia. The row that threatened
to overshadow the 20th anniversary of the massacre. Oric stood trial
at a UN court in The Hague for crimes against Bosnian Serbs and was
acquitted of all charges in 2008.
2015 Jun 25, Swiss authorities
approved the extradition of Naser Oric, the wartime Bosnian
commander of Srebrenica, to his home country rather than to Serbia.
Oric agreed to be extradited to Bosnia.
2015 Jul 6, Customs officials
at Zurich airport seized 262 kg (578 pounds) of ivory that three
Chinese men had dispatched from Tanzania, contraband that may have
come from up to 50 elephants. The tusks had been sawed into 172
pieces to fit into luggage.
2015 Jul 9, Switzerland said it
has paid out $4.9 million to hundreds of people who as children were
taken from their parents and sent to work on Swiss farms or placed
in homes. The practice of sending poor children, aka “slave
children," to farms started in the early 1800s and was in full swing
until the 1960s.
(SFC, 7/10/15, p.A5)
2015 Jul 14, CERN scientists
said new kind of subatomic particle called the pentaquark has been
detected for the first time. The existence of pentaquarks was first
proposed in the 1960s by American physicists Murray Gell-Mann and
Georg Zweig. Gell-Mann, who coined the term "quark," received the
Nobel Prize in 1969.
2015 Jul 16, Swiss authorities
said extradited to the United States an official detained in a US
corruption investigation into world soccer's governing body FIFA.
Jeffrey Webb is one of seven current and former FIFA employees
arrested in Switzerland in May.
2015 Jul, In Switzerland a
farmer in Ueken in the northern canton of Aargau discovered 4,166
bronze and silver coins dating back to Ancient Rome and weighing 15
kilos (33 pounds). They stretched from the rein of Emperor Aurelian
(year 270-275) to that of Maximilian (286-305), with the most recent
coins dated to year 294. Archeologists said it was impossible to
determine their original value due to rampant inflation at the time.
2015 Aug 23, In Switzerland two
light planes collided in flight at an air show in Dittingen, killing
one of the pilots.
2015 Aug 24, A Swiss official
says his country has made headway toward returning some $40 million
that was stolen from the Tunisian state and has been sitting in
Swiss banks since Tunisia's longtime regime collapsed in the Arab
2015 Sep 15, Switzerland said
it is ready to accept a migrant quota on the lines proposed by
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, providing the EU
accepts the plan. The planned admission of some 29,000 migrants was
later raised to 30,000 as hundreds of thousands of migrants surged
through the Balkans.
(Reuters, 9/15/15)(Econ, 10/24/15, p.50)
2015 Sep 17, Switzerland ruled
that former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo, a Uruguayan
national, should be extradited to the US, the first suspect facing a
forced transfer in the corruption case that has shaken world
2015 Sep 29, Switzerland's
justice ministry granted an American request to extradite former
Costa Rican soccer federation president Eduardo Li in the FIFA
2015 Oct 1, In Switzerland
American adventurer Johnny Strange (23) died in a wing-suit crash in
(SFC, 10/3/15, p.A2)
2015 Oct 15, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled Switzerland had violated Turkish politician
Dogu Perincek's right to freedom of speech by convicting him for
denying that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915
amounted to genocide.
2015 Oct 16, Switzerland's
attorney general said authorities have charged four Iraqi men with
planning attacks and helping Islamic State smuggle followers into
Europe. Three of the men have been in custody since their arrest in
2015 Oct 18, Swiss voters
finished casting ballots to elect their parliament. The
anti-immigration Swiss People's Party collected 29.4% of the vote.
The Social Democrats were a distant second, virtually unchanged at
18.8%. The pro-business Free Democrats increased by 1.3 percentage
points to 16.4%. Turnout was 48.4%.
(AP, 10/18/15)(AP, 10/19/15)
2015 Oct 21, Swiss-based Credit
Suisse said it plans to cut at least 3,400 jobs over three years in
Britain and Switzerland and raise billions in a new share offering
after its net profit fell 24 percent in the third quarter.
2015 Nov 2, The Swiss
government said the terrorism threat has increased this year, and
police and intelligence services are now handling about 70 cases
involving "jihadi-motivated terrorism."
2015 Nov 11, In Switzerland the
12.03-carat “Blue Moon" diamond was auctioned in Geneva for a record
(SFC, 11/12/15, p.A6)
2015 Nov 27, A Swiss court
convicted in absentia Herve Falciani, a former French employee with
international bank HSBC, for economic espionage and sentenced him to
five years in prison. France does not extradite its own citizens and
Falciani appears unlikely to serve the sentence.
2015 Dec 3, The Swiss justice
ministry (FOJ) arrested two more top FIFA officials on a request
from the US justice department. South American Football
Confederation president Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay and Alfredo
Hawit of Honduras, head of the Confederation of North, Central
American and Caribbean, were arrested at the five-star Baur au Lac
hotel in Zurich.
2015 Dec 9, Switzerland's main
anti-immigration party secured a second seat in the federal
government in a boost for isolationist forces as the country seeks
to redraft treaties with the European Union to include curbs on
2015 Dec 11, Swiss authorities
arrested two people of Syrian origin on suspicion of transporting
"explosives and toxic gases" as part of a probe into a terror
2016 Jan 14, Swiss authorities
said they have returned to Italy 45 boxes of ancient Etruscan art
stolen during illegal excavations and stashed away for more than 15
years, including two rare sarcophaguses.
2016 Jan 20, The World Economic
Forum (WEF) opened in Davos, Switzerland. Pope Francis sent a letter
to executive chairman Klaus Schwab beseeching those gathered to
remember the poor. This year’s theme was the “fourth industrial
(SFC, 1/21/16, p.C1)(Econ, 1/9/16, p.69)
2016 Jan 27, Denmark and
Switzerland joined a growing number of European countries to report
Zika infections among travelers returning from Latin America, where
the mosquito-borne virus has been blamed for a surge in birth
2016 Jan 29, Switzerland's
chief prosecutor said a criminal investigation into state fund
1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had revealed that about $4
billion appeared to have been misappropriated from Malaysian state
2016 Feb 3, State-owned China
National Chemical Corp. offered $43 billion in an agreed takeover
for Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta, in what would be by far
the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm.
2016 Feb 4, Switzerland’s
Credit Suisse said it is cutting roughly 4,000 jobs to reduce costs
after announcing a massive pre-tax loss in the fourth quarter that
includes "substantial charges which are not reflective of our
underlying business performance."
2016 Feb 4, US authorities
announced that Swiss bank Julius Baer, facing a criminal charge, has
agreed to pay $547 million and cooperate for three years with
American authorities to shut down accounts that enabled wealthy
Americans to evade taxes.
2016 Feb 19, A task force set
up to discuss a planned cessation of hostilities in Syria met for
the first time in Geneva. Western powers rejected a Russian bid at
the UN to halt Turkey's military actions in Syria, as France warned
of a dangerous escalation in the nearly five-year conflict.
(Reuters, 2/19/16)(AFP, 2/19/16)
2016 Feb 26, Gianni Infantino
of Switzerland beat Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, the pre-election
favorite for the leadership of FIFA. Infantino had led the European
soccer body, UEFA, where was the CEO-like general secretary since
2016 Feb 26, A Belgian judge
charged Swiss bank UBS with money laundering and "serious and
organized tax evasion," saying it directly sought clients in the
country to help them skip taxes.
2016 Feb 28, Switzerland began
voting in a referendum on whether foreign criminals should be
automatically deported even for minor offences.
2016 Mar 4, Switzerland
unveiled tough draft legislation for unilateral curbs on
immigration, raising the stakes in talks with Brussels on limiting
the influx of foreigners from the European Union.
2016 Mar 4, The Geneva-based
World Trade Organization said India has filed a complaint against
the United States over its measures raising fees on some applicants
for temporary work visas, mostly involving the tech sector.
2016 Mar 8, Swiss authorities
said they have arrested 15 people suspected of belonging to the
powerful Italian 'Ndrangheta crime organization, and are holding
them pending extradition.
2016 Mar 14, In Switzerland UN
mediator Staffan de Mistura opened talks to end a five-year war in
Syria. The first of three rounds of talks aimed to agree a "clear
roadmap" for Syria fail to make progress. Syria's government
submitted an document entitled "Basic Elements for a Political
Solution" to the UN mediator in Geneva.
2016 Apr 6, Swiss police raided
the headquarters of the European soccer body UEFA in Nyon to gather
information about a contract signed by Gianni Infantino, now head of
the global soccer body FIFA, that was reported in the Panama Papers.
2016 Apr 19, Swiss snowboarder
Estelle Balet (21) was been killed in an avalanche while filming
above Orsieres, near Switzerland's southern border with France and
2016 May 24, Switzerland's
market supervisor indicated that BSI SA helped transfer money to the
Alpine country connected to the Malaysian fund called 1MDB. The
Swiss attorney general's office opened criminal proceedings against
the bank, whose chief executive resigned.
2016 Jun 1, In Switzerland
European dignitaries inaugurated the 57-km (35.4-mile) Gotthard
Railway Tunnel, a major engineering achievement deep under the Alps'
snow-capped peaks. It took 17 years to build at a cost of 12.2
billion Swiss francs ($12 billion).
2016 Jun 5, Swiss voters
rejected a proposal to require state-controlled companies such as
Swisscom, Swiss Post or Swiss railway company SBB not to seek to
make a profit.
2016 Jun 5, Swiss voters flatly
rejected a radical proposal to provide the entire population with a
basic income, no work required.
(AFP, 6/5/16)(SFC, 6/6/16, p.A2)
2016 Jul 19, Clown Dimitri
(80), a beloved Swiss clown and mime, died in Borgnone. He had
studied under Marcel Marceau and spread smiles from Broadway to
Congo with a traditional style that shunned modern, high-tech
2016 Jul 24, In Switzerland the
International Olympic Committee held showdown talks on whether to
ban Russia from the Rio Games over state-run doping. The IOC said it
was up to each international sports federation to decide if Russians
could take part in Rio.
(AFP, 7/24/16)(AFP, 7/25/16)
2016 Aug 13, In Switzerland a
Swiss national Simon S. (27) carried out a stabbing and arson attack
on a Swiss train, injuring six others. The attacker and one of the
victims soon died of their injuries. On August 31 prosecutors
reported the death of a 2nd victim, 17-year-old Melissa B.
(AFP, 8/13/16)(AFP, 8/31/16)
2016 Aug 22, Jordan signed
grant agreements for the school program with Britain, the US, Norway
and Switzerland. Donor countries pledged close to $100 million to
help Jordan enroll all Syrian refugee children in the kingdom in
schools next month.
2016 Aug 23, Swiss prosecutors
said they've charged three people accused of illegally obtaining
data on at least 133,600 credit cards with computer fraud following
their extradition from Thailand.
2016 Aug 29, In Switzerland a
US-built F/A-18C aircraft went missing while on a training flight in
the Alps. The pilot's remains were found on August 31 near the
wreckage from the crash in the Susten Pass.
2016 Sep 25, Swiss voters
granted new powers to the country's intelligence services, allowing
them to track internet activity, snoop on email and tap phones to
better fight spies, criminal hackers and violent extremists.
2016 Sep 26, Italian officials
warned that Switzerland could face consequences after voters in the
border canton of Ticino approved a referendum calling on authorities
to grant preference to Swiss workers over foreigners in employment.
2016 Oct 11, In Switzerland the
annual Martin Ennals Award was bestowed to imprisoned Chinese Muslim
minority economics professor Ilham Tohti (46), shining new attention
on a case that has brought strong international condemnation. Tohti
was jailed for life two years ago for campaigning for the rights of
the Muslim Uighur people. The award, founded in 1994, is bestowed by
10 rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights
(AP, 10/11/16)(Reuters, 10/11/16)
2016 Nov 7, Tanzania signed a
memorandum of understanding with Switzerland to help the East
African country recover money illegally kept in Swiss banks by
2016 Nov 27, Swiss voters
rejected a call to speed up the phase-out of the country’s ageing
nuclear reactors. A full 54.2 percent of voters and an overwhelming
majority of 26 cantons voted against an initiative which would have
forced three of the country's five nuclear reactors to close next
2016 Dec 2, In Switzerland
member nations approved an additional 440 million euros ($469
million) to fund the European Space Agency's next mission to Mars.
2016 Dec 7, The CEO of Rosneft,
Russia’s state-controlled oil company, said that it had agreed to
sell a 19.5 percent stake to Swiss commodities giant Glencore and
Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.
2016 Dec 11, In Switzerland the
35-mile Gotthard base tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel, opened for
2016 Dec 20, Swiss police said
a gunmen (24) who wounded three people attending prayers at an
Islamic center has been found dead. The Swiss citizen of Ghanaian
descent was already wanted for the fatal stabbing of a friend who
was found at a playground in Zurich on Dec 19.
(SFC, 12/21/16, p.A2)
2016 Swiss authorities seized
25 cars and ordered the sequestration of a yacht belonging to
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of Equatorial Guinea's Pres.
Teodoro Obiang. In 2019 the cars were sold for more than $27 million
following a Swiss probe of money laundering and mismanagement of
(SFC, 9/30/19, p.A4)
2017 Jan 5, A Swiss insurance
agency ruled that an Uber driver is an employee for whom the company
must pay social security contributions, dealing a blow to the US
ride-hailing platform that says drivers are independent contractors.
2017 Jan 10, A European court
rejected an appeal by a Turkish-born couple who were fined in
Switzerland for keeping their daughters out of mixed-gender,
mandatory public school swimming lessons for reasons linked to their
2017 Jan 17, In in Davos,
Switzerland, the annual World Economic Forum opened. Chinese
President Xi Jinping gave the opening address urging the world to
"say no to protectionism" and warning that "no one will emerge as a
winner in a trade war.
2017 Jan 19, At Davos,
Switzerland, PM Theresa May unveiled her vision for Britain after
Brexit, describing its future role as a defender of free trade and
globalization in a speech intended to ease concerns among the global
2017 Jan 26, Johnson &
Johnson said it will buy Swiss drugmaker Actelion in a $30 billion
deal that both secures promising research and bolsters the product
portfolio controlled by the US health care giant.
2017 Jan 31, Switzerland said
it would lift its 40-year ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood
but will still prohibit donations from those who have had sex in the
2017 Feb 12, Swiss voters
approved a measure to make it easier for third-generation immigrants
to become citizens, crushing rightwing nationalists who had stoked
fears about granting nationality to more Muslims.
2017 Feb 22, In Geneva WTO
Director-General Roberto Azevedo said that the required two-thirds
of member states have ratified the first multilateral trade
agreement reached under the World Trade Organization since it was
created over a generation ago.
2017 Feb 23, Syrian peace talks
under the auspices of the United Nations resumed in Geneva, 10
months after falling apart over escalating bloodshed in the war-torn
country. The UN's Syria envoy met rival negotiators, but even
getting them into the same room appeared uncertain as hopes remained
slim for a breakthrough.
(AP, 2/23/17)(AFP, 2/23/17)
2017 Mar 31, Credit Suisse
issued a brief statement saying that local authorities had made
"visits" to its offices in Amsterdam, Paris and London in connection
with unspecified client tax issues. The European Union judicial
agency Eurojust said it had helped coordinate cross-border
investigations in a major tax evasion investigation involving
millions of euros and spanning several European countries and
(AP, 3/31/17)(Reuters, 3/31/17)
2017 Apr 5, In Switzerland
Geneva's regional council voted to modify a 1929 ordinance that
banned women from swimming topless in the city's main natural
waterways. The change doesn't apply to public swimming pools or
swimming totally naked.
2017 Apr 8, In eastern France
Hani Ramadan, a Swiss Islamic preacher with extremist views, was
arrested in Colmar as he was taking part in a conference. Police
escorted him to the Swiss border.
2017 Apr 13, The highest Swiss
court ruled that two executives of Switzerland's biggest political
party violated laws against racism with a campaign advertisement
suggesting people from Kosovo are violent criminals. The Federal
Supreme Court in Lausanne upheld the convictions of former SVP
Secretary General Martin Baltisser and his deputy, Silvia Baer, on
charges of racial discrimination.
2017 Apr 30, In Nepal
experienced Swiss climber Ueli Steck (40) died after he fell in the
Everest region during preparations to climb the world's highest
mountain, the first to perish in the current climbing season.
(Reuters, 4/30/17)(Econ 5/13/17, p.82)
2017 May 3, Swiss authorities
extended the detention of Ousman Sonko, Gambia's former interior
minister, for another three months amid an investigation into
accusations he committed crimes against humanity while serving in
the African country's government.
2017 May 5, Zurich's public
safety office recommended towns in Switzerland's most populous
canton ban a campaign that hands out Korans in public spaces,
describing it as a front for incitement of radical activities
including jihadist involvement.
2017 May 9, In Switzerland
Europe's top physics lab CERN launched Linac 4, its newest particle
accelerator, billed as a key step towards future experiments that
could unlock the universe's greatest mysteries.
2017 May 10, Switzerland's
government said it will temporarily limit the number of workers from
European Union member states Bulgaria and Romania who can access
Swiss jobs, after an influx from the countries in recent months.
2017 May 19, In Switzerland
Syria's warring sides entered a final day of UN-backed talks with
little sign of progress towards ending the conflict and with
negotiations overshadowed by swelling tensions on the ground.
2017 May 21, Swiss voters
backed the government's plan to provide billions of dollars in
subsidies for renewable energy, ban new nuclear plants and help bail
out struggling utilities in a binding referendum.
2017 May 22, The World Health
Organization's annual assembly in Geneva refused to even discuss
admitting Taiwan to the meeting, under pressure from China.
Self-governing Taiwan, which China sees as a renegade province
awaiting reunification, has been invited to attend the WHO's main
annual meeting as an observer every year since 2009, but this year
it did not receive an invitation.
2017 May 22, Swiss specialty
chemicals maker Clariant and The Woodlands, Texas-based Huntsman
Corp. said they are merging to create a company with a market value
of $13.8 billion through an all-stock transaction.
2017 May 24, Angry UN staff in
Geneva protested against a proposed 7.5 percent cut to their
salaries, the equivalent of almost a month's pay, and called for
strike action if it is implemented.
2017 May 26, Switzerland said
it is transferring 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) to Tunisia that
had been frozen in connection with a close relative of former
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Tunisian authorities will
determine what to do with the assets.
2017 Jun 23, A Kansas federal
jury awarded nearly $218 million to farmers who sued Sygenta, a
Swiss agribusiness, over its introduction of a genetically
engineered corn seed variety. Sygenta vowed to appeal.
(SFC, 6/24/17, p.D2)
2017 Jun 27, A Swiss government
information technology agency said ransomware known as Petya seems
to have re-emerged to affect computer systems across Europe, causing
issues primarily in Ukraine, Russia, England and India. In 2018
Britain blamed the Russian government for the NotPetya cyber-attack.
(Reuters, 6/27/17)(Econ 7/1/17, p.72)(SFC,
2017 Jun 27, Switzerland-based
Nestle announced up to $21 billion in share buybacks by 2020 and
promised to invest in zippy categories such as coffee and pet food.
(Econ 7/1/17, p.58)
2017 Jul 6, Physicists at the
Large Hadron Collider beneath the Swiss-French border, announced the
fleeting discovery of a long theorized but never-before-seen type of
baryon called Xi cc.
2017 Jul 23, A
chainsaw-wielding loner who mostly lived in the woods stormed into
an insurance office in a Swiss town, wounding two members of staff
and three other people before fleeing.
2017 Jul 25, Swiss police
arrested Franz Wroutsis (51) and charged him with attacking health
insurance employees last week with a chain saw.
(SFC, 7/27/17, p.A4)
2017 Aug 4, In Switzerland a
Piper PA28 plane crash at a summer camp killed two 14-year-old
campers and the pilot, while leaving a third teenager seriously
injured. Swiss investigators later said a 14-year-old boy was at the
controls of the small plane.
(AFP, 8/4/17)(AP, 1/18/19)
2017 Aug 12, In Switzerland
"Mrs. Fang", Chinese director Wang Bing's documentary about a family
waiting to say goodbye to their elderly Alzheimer's-stricken mother,
scooped the top prize at the Locarno film festival.
2017 Aug 17, A Swiss federal
court ruled that Eritrean asylum-seekers who completed military
service in the East African country can legally be sent home if
their asylum cases are rejected. The ruling could have sweeping
implications for thousands of Eritreans who make up Switzerland's
largest pool of asylum-seekers by nationality. In June, a special
investigator for the UN said Eritreans continue to suffer arbitrary
arrest, enforced disappearances and a national system of military
service that amounts to enslavement.
2017 Aug 23, In Switzerland up
to 14 people including Germans, Austrians and Swiss went missing
after a landslide struck the eastern canton of Grisons near the
2017 Aug 30, The Geneva-based
Cluster Munition Coalition said the number of people killed by
outlawed cluster bombs more than doubled in 2016 compared with
2015 with nearly 1,000 people killed or injured.
(SFC, 9/1/17, p.A2)
2017 Sep 6, In Switzerland West
Papua separatist leaders marched in Geneva and said would press
their case with a petition to the United Nations in New York. They
said the people of West Papua are facing a "slow motion genocide"
and demand independence from Indonesia.
2017 Sep 8, Swiss commodities
trader Glencore said that it and Qatar Investment Authority, the
rich Persian Gulf emirate's sovereign wealth fund, have agreed to
jointly sell a 14.16 percent stake in Rosneft to CEFC China Energy
2017 Sep 11, James Allison, of
the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Robert
Schreiber, of the Washington University School of Medicine, were
announced as winners of the 750,000 Swiss-franc ($790,000) Balzan
2017 Sep 14, It was reported
that Swiss food giant Nestle paid as much as $500 million for a 68%
stake in the SF Bay Area-based Blue Bottle coffee firm.
(SFC, 9/15/17 p.A1)
2017 Sep 21, Federal
prosecutors in Switzerland announced indictments of the leader of a
prominent Swiss Islamic group and two other top members over alleged
al-Qaida propaganda videos posted on YouTube. The indictments
targeted ICCS President Nicolas Blancho, the group's cultural
production chief Naim Cherni, who is a German citizen, and spokesman
Abdel Azziz Qaasim Illi.
2017 Sep 24, Swiss voters
rejected raising women's retirement age to 65 in a referendum on
shoring up the wealthy nation's pension system as a wave of Baby
Boomers stops working.
2017 Oct 4, Three researchers
based in the US, UK and Switzerland won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
for developing a way to create exquisitely detailed images of the
molecules driving life. The prize was shared by Switzerland's
Jacques Dubochet of the University of Lausanne, German-born US
citizen Joachim Frank at New York's Columbia University and Briton
Richard Henderson of MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in
2017 Oct 4, It was reported
that Renate Langer (61), a former German actress, has told Swiss
authorities that film director Roman Polanski raped her at a house
in Gstaad in February 1972, when she was 15.
(SFC, 10/4/17, p.A2)
2017 Oct 6, The Nobel Peace
Prize was awarded to the Geneva-based International Campaign to
Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a group of mostly young activists
pushing for a global treaty to ban the cataclysmic bombs.
2017 Oct 7, In Switzerland a
refugee from Sri Lanka (38) was shot and killed by Swiss police
after he charged at two other asylum seekers with knives at a
refugee center in the canton of Ticino.
2017 Oct 20, Swiss Re, one of
the world's biggest reinsurers, said hurricanes Harvey, Irma and
Maria, as well as two recent earthquakes in Mexico will likely cost
the insurance industry about $95 billion.
2017 Oct 25, The Swiss
government said neutral Switzerland's embassies in Riyadh and Tehran
have signed agreements to represent Iranian interests in Saudi
Arabia and Saudi interests in Iran.
2017 Oct 30, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Novartis said it has offered to buy Advanced
Accelerator Applications of France for $3.9 billion, to bolster its
portfolio of cancer treatments.
(SFC, 10/31/17, p.D2)
2017 Nov 1, In Switzerland the
Bern Kunstmuseum showcased a new exhibit of artwork deemed
"degenerate art" by the Nazis, drawn from a collection of some 1,500
works found hidden in the homes of German collector Cornelius
Gurlitt five years ago.
2017 Nov 9, In Germany a Swiss
man (Daniel M.) was given a 22-month suspended prison sentence for
spying on German tax officials between July 2011 and February 2015.
2017 Nov 13, British-owned
multinational chemical firm INEOS said it has agreed to buy Swiss
soccer club Lausanne-Sport.
2017 Nov 14, French prosecutors
said HSBC Private Bank, a Swiss unit of banking giant HSBC, has
agreed to pay 300 million euros ($352 million) to avoid going to
trial in France for enabling tax fraud.
2017 Dec 4, Switzerland
released a national plan to prevent violent extremism, including
training teachers and coaches to recognize warning signs and
re-integrating people who have already been radicalized.
2017 Dec 5, Former Romanian
King Michael I (96), who was forced to abdicate by the communists in
the aftermath of World War II, died in his residence in Aubonne,
2017 Dec 6, The Swiss
parliament elected Alain Berset (45) to become the country’s
president next year, succeeding Pres. Doris Leuthard.
(SFC, 12/7/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 13, In Switzerland the
Gotthard road tunnel under the Alps closed for hours after a truck
and a passenger car collided, killing two people.
2017 Dec 21, Switzerland’s
financial market regulator said the Swiss division of J.P. Morgan
"seriously breached" anti-money laundering rules relating to the
Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
2017 Dec 25, Swiss police said
three people have died over the last 48 hours in separate avalanche
accidents in the Swiss Alps.
2018 Jan 3, Winter storm
Eleanor packing winds up to 100 mph (160 kph) battered parts of
western Europe, derailing trains, toppling trees, halting flights
and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes across France,
Switzerland, Britain and Ireland without power.
2018 Jan 9, In Switzerland
heavy snowfall has trapped some 13,000 tourists at Zermatt, one of
the country’s most popular ski stations.
2018 Jan 10, Switzerland banned
the common culinary practice of throwing fresh lobsters into boiling
water as part of an overhaul of its animal protection rules, which
take effect in March.
2018 Jan 10, In Switzerland an
83-year-old man apparently shot and killed his wife in her hospital
bed near Zurich early today, then killed himself.
2018 Jan 14, In Switzerland a
team of experienced journalists launched Republic, a new online
magazine, after reportedly collecting more than 7.7 million Swiss
francs ($8 million) with the help of a crowdfunding campaign.
2018 Jan 22, In Switzerland
film star Cate Blanchett, singer-songwriter Elton John and Bollywood
actor Shah Rukh Khan received awards at the World Economic Forum in
Davos for their work raising awareness about human rights issues.
The Crystal Award is given, by the WEF to artists who make a
positive change in society.
2018 Jan 23, In Switzerland
India’s PM Narendra Modi gave the opening speech at the World
Economic Forum in Davos and urged governments not to turn to
isolation hours after Pres. Trump approved new US tariffs on
(SFC, 1/24/18, p.A5)
2018 Jan 25, President Donald
Trump arrived in Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum
where he will push his "America First" agenda and seek more fair,
reciprocal trade between the United States and its allies.
2018 Jan 25, President Donald
Trump said in Davos, Switzerland, that the Palestinians must return
to peace talks to receive US aid money.
2018 Jan 25, British PM Theresa
May sought to reaffirm her country's central role in world affairs,
when she delivered a speech to the World Economic Forum and met with
President Donald Trump to dispel any perceptions of tensions between
2018 Jan 26, In Switzerland US
President Donald Trump told the World Economic Forum in Davos that
the economic growth taking place in the US under to his "America
first" agenda also benefits the rest of the world.
2018 Feb 1, Switzerland's
market regulator said it has banned the Swiss affiliate of Russia's
Gazprombank from taking new private clients over money laundering
concerns over a 10-year period that emerged from the Panama Papers
2018 Feb 16, It was reported
that Swiss-based Roche Holding will buy Flatiron Health and its
cancer-focused medical records for $1.9 billion.
(SFC, 2/19/18, p.D4)
2018 Feb 23, Swiss police said
two people are dead after a shooting in Zurich. Police described it
as a "violent crime" but gave no further details.
2018 Mar 1, Heavy snowfall and
deadly blizzards lashed Europe. Exceptional snow and wind forced
airports to close in Scotland, Switzerland and France and stranded
several hundred drivers in their cars.
2018 Mar 4, Swiss voters
handily rejected a proposal brought by free-market advocates to end
mandatory fees to finance publicly supported TV and radio
2018 Mar 7, European police
said they have smashed an international weapons-smuggling ring
operating in at least four countries. Police said the group traded
firearms in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France.
2018 Mar 8, Switzerland said it
will step up cooperation with Qatar in criminal investigations under
a new accord to expedite mutual legal assistance.
2018 Mar 9, The Swiss foreign
ministry said it is ready to facilitate talks between North Korea
and the United States.
2018 Mar 12, In Kansas a $1.5
billion settlement was reached in a class-action lawsuit covering
tens of thousands of farmers, grain-handling facilities and ethanol
plants that sued Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its
introduction of a genetically engineered corn seed. The settlement
must be approved by a federal judge in Kansas.
2018 Mar 17, In Switzerland
four people were killed after an avalanche hit the ski area of
Vallon d'Arbi. Two bodies were soon recovered and rescue workers
searched for two missing.
(AFP, 3/17/18)(SFC, 3/19/18, p.A2)
2018 Mar 31, In Switzerland
three Spanish skiers died and two were injured when an avalanche
swept them down a mountainside in the southwestern canton of Valais.
2018 Apr 3, In Switzerland the
United Nations raised more than $2 billion to help civilians in
Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates drew praise for
offering hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Yemen, where
their air campaign against Houthi rebels has killed thousands of
civilians and their crippling blockade has hindered aid delivery.
(AFP, 4/3/18)(AP, 4/3/18)
2018 Apr 5, Spain's High Court
released Swiss bank whistleblower Herve Falciani from custody but
ordered him to remain in Spain while it considers an extradition
request from Switzerland which wants to jail him for industrial
sabotage. In 2008 Falciani, a French citizen who worked for HSBC's
Swiss private bank, leaked details of thousands of clients many of
whom he suspected were using their accounts to evade tax at home.
2018 Apr 7, In Switzerland
Karl-Erivan Haub (58), heir to the German Tengelmann retail empire,
disappeared in Zermatt while training for a ski mountaineering race
on the famous Matterhorn peak. A search for him was officially
called off after six months.
(AP, 4/11/18)(AP, 10/11/18)
2018 Apr 9, Swiss
pharmaceuticals giant Novartis said it has agreed to buy the
US-based gene therapy company AveXis Inc. for $8.7 billion, part of
its goal to become a leader in the treatment of neurodegenerative
2018 Apr 10, Swiss food giant
Nestle said wants to make all of its packaging recyclable or
reusable by 2025, becoming the latest food company to vow to reduce
2018 Apr 21, It was reported
that Ireland-based Smyths Toys has reached a deal to take over more
than 90 Toys R Us stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
2018 Apr 27, In Switzerland
Erwin Sperisen, Guatemala's former police chief, was slapped with a
15-year prison sentence after being reconvicted for the deaths of
seven inmates in Pavon jail (Guatemala) in September 2006. Sperisen
held dual Swiss and Guatemalan citizenship and local rules allowed
Swiss citizens to be tried at home for crimes committed abroad.
2018 Apr 30, Swiss police said
four people have died in the Swiss Alps and five others were in a
serious conditions after bad weather forced 14 people to spend a
night outdoors in the Pigne d’Arolla area. The death toll soon
increased to six. The victims were identified as five Italians and a
(Reuters, 4/30/18)(AP, 5/1/18)
2018 Apr 30, In Switzerland the
bodies of two climbers, aged 21 and 22, were found east of Pigne
d'Arolla area. Bad weather a day earlier foiled rescue efforts. Two
French nationals cross country skiing near the Allalin glacier in
Valais canton were swept away by an avalanche and one of them died.
2018 Apr 30, The Swiss-based
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said three
quarters of freshwater species endemic to East Africa's Lake
Victoria basin face the threat of extinction, warning the
biodiversity there was being "decimated." The lake stretches into
Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and its catchment also touches Burundi
2018 May 7, Swiss-based Nestle
announced that Starbucks Corp. will receive $7.15 billion in an
up-front cash payment to handle global retail sales of Starbucks's
coffee and tea outside of its coffee shops.
2018 May 10, In Switzerland
David Goodall, a 104-year-old Australian man, cheerily sang a few
bars of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as he told reporters that
medically assisted suicide should be more widely available and not
only viewed as a last resort for the terminally ill. His death soon
2018 May 16, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Novartis said that its top lawyer, Felix Ehrat,
is stepping down over a deal to hire US President Donald Trump's
personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as a consultant.
2018 Jun 7, In Switzerland the
multinational Catholic initiative, End Clergy Abuse, was announced
at a press conference in Geneva.
2018 Jun 10, Swiss voters
rejected a referendum that would have made sweeping changes in their
country's monetary and banking system. Voters approved a referendum
on the Gambling Act, which has already been passed by both houses of
parliament. It will allow only casinos and gaming companies
certified in Switzerland to operate in the country, including on the
2018 Jun 10, In Switzerland an
Olympic hosting bid was sunk by a public vote against expected high
costs. Voters in the region of Valais refused to pledge financial
support for a 2026 Winter Games hosting bid centered on the town of
2018 Jul 2, Swiss-based
Glencore Corp. received a subpoena from the US Department of Justice
"to produce documents and other records with respect to compliance
with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United States money
laundering statutes." Glencore was being probed by the United States
in a corruption investigation linked to its business in Nigeria,
Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
2018 Jul 2, Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani arrived in Switzerland for talks expected to focus on
salvaging progress from the Iran nuclear deal after the Trump
2018 Jul 3, Swiss President
Alain Berset urged all sides not to endanger the nuclear agreement
between global powers and Iran, after meeting his Tehran
counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.
2018 Jul 4, The Swiss
government said it aims to allow pilot studies on ways to relax its
marijuana laws. Switzerland already permits low potency cannabis but
bans most marijuana for recreational use.
2018 Jul 5, The Swiss Federal
Audit Office's (SFAO) review said the Swiss government must improve
its measures to tackle corruption by federal officials and
departments after steps taken were found to be inadequate.
2018 Jul 11, The Geneva-based
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) called on Poland to
"restore the independence of the judiciary", adding another voice to
a row between Warsaw and the European Union.
2018 Jul 25, In Switzerland
Sergio Marchionne (66) died after unexpected complications from
surgery in Zurich. The charismatic and demanding CEO had engineered
two long-shot corporate turnarounds to save carmakers Fiat and
Chrysler from near-certain failure.
2018 Aug 4, In Switzerland
several people died after a small plane crashed in a forest this
morning, causing a forest fire that completely destroyed the plane
in the Rengg mountain pass of Nidwalden canton.
2018 Aug 4, In Switzerland a
small vintage trimotor Junker JU-52 aircraft crashed ion the west
side of the Piz Segnas mountain, Grissons canton. Three Austrians
and 17 Swiss were aboard aircraft when it crashed. The 1930s-era
military aircraft was used by tourist flight operator JU-Air.
(Reuters, 8/5/18)(Reuters, 11/20/18)
2018 Aug 6, Switzerland said it
will cut import tariffs on livestock feed and offer interest-free
loans to help farmers deal with a drought, amid a heat wave that is
killing off fish in the Rhine.
2018 Aug 7, Swiss army
helicopters began airlifting water to thousands of thirsty cows who
are suffering in a drought and heatwave that has hit much of Europe.
2018 Aug 18, Kofi Annan (80) of
Ghana, a former UN Secretary-General (1997-2006) and Nobel peace
laureate (2001), died in Switzerland. He was the first black African
to assume the world's top diplomatic post.
2018 Aug 27, In Switzerland a
weeklong gathering opened in Geneva to discuss ways to define and
deal with "killer robots," futuristic weapons systems that could
conduct war without human intervention.
2018 Aug 28, A Swiss court
sentenced Pascal Collard to an 18-month suspended prison term for
corruption related to Congolese oil contracts. The former Gunvor
employee said he paid bribes to the president of the Republic of
Congo via a presidential aide and Belgian firm Semlex to win the
contracts. Collard said managers at Gunvor knew about the payments
and approved them to win the deals between 2009 and 2011.
2018 Sep 2, It was reported
that Swiss company Climeworks AG has received a $31 million
investment to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in an
expensive process that uses high tech filters and fans.
(SSFC, 9/2/18, p.B14)
2018 Sep 6, In Geneva,
Switzerland, scheduled peace talks between Yemen's government and
Huthi rebels hung in the balance as both sides traded ultimatums and
a UN envoy scrambled to mediate. The rebel delegation, still in
Sanaa, insisted the UN must meet a list of conditions before it will
travel to Switzerland, prompting government representatives already
in Geneva to give the Huthis a 24-hour deadline or it "will leave".
2018 Sep 10, The Balzan
Foundation announced that Swiss-based Terre des Hommes will receive
1 million Swiss francs ($1 million) for a project in the African
nation of Mali to save infants during childbirth and help their
2018 Sep 10, In Geneva new UN
human rights chief Michelle Bachelet criticized the Italian
government for refusing entry to migrant rescue ships in the
Mediterranean operated by private charities. Hours later Interior
Minister Matteo Salvini, who heads Italy's anti-immigrant League
party, threatened to cut Italian funding for the UN.
2018 Sep 14, Swiss authorities
said that the Netherlands arrested and expelled two suspected
Russian spies earlier this year who allegedly tried to hack a Swiss
laboratory that conducts tests for the UN-backed chemical weapons
2018 Sep 23, Swiss voters
decisively rejected more help for farmers in two referendums today,
heeding the government's warnings that the measures would send food
prices rocketing and hurt the economy.
2018 Sep 23, Swiss voters in
St. Gallen approved by a two-thirds majority a ban on facial
coverings such as the burqa, becoming the second Swiss canton to do
2018 Sep 27, The Swiss-based
World Trade Organization lowered its global trade growth forecasts,
citing increased trade tensions between large economies and
2018 Oct 10, Switzerland's high
court upheld the acquittal of Rudolf Elmer, a former bank
accountant, who handed over confidential client information to
WikiLeaks in 2008, ruling he wasn't bound by the country's strict
banking secrecy laws at the time. The court ruled that prosecutors
cannot extend Swiss banking secrecy rules to all corners of the
globe to pursue whistleblowers and other leakers at foreign
(AP, 10/10/18)(Reuters, 10/10/18)
2018 Oct 14, In Argentina
Patrick Baumann (51) of Switzerland, the secretary general of
basketball's world governing body, died of a heart attack at the
Youth Olympics. Baumann was the top administrator of the
International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for 15 years, and an
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member since 2007.
2018 Oct 16, It was reported
that Swiss glaciers have lost 2.5 percent of their volume this year.
2018 Nov 17, It was reported
that Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, a former Kuwaiti minister and
one of the most powerful officials in international sports, has been
charged in Switzerland with forgery. Le Temps newspaper said Sheikh
Ahmad stands accused with four others of an intricate forgery scheme
linked to his efforts to prove that Kuwait's former prime minister
and speaker of parliament were guilty of coup-plotting and
2018 Nov 28, In Switzerland
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani announced a 12-person team for
prospective peace talks with the Taliban. Top diplomats from Russia,
the United States and the European Union united in support for
Ghani's efforts to stabilize his war-battered nation.
(AFP, 11/28/18)(AP, 11/28/18)
2018 Nov 30, Swiss-based FIFA's
ethics committee said it has imposed a four-year ban on Manuel
Dende, former president of the Sao Tomean Football Association, for
accepting a bribe, reportedly from former presidential candidate
Mohamed bin Hammam. Dende was also fined 75,000 Swiss francs
2018 Dec 5, The Swiss
government chose Ueli Maurer (68) of the anti-immigration Swiss
People's Party to become president in 2019. Parliament also elected
Viola Amherd of the centrist Christian Democratic Party and Karin
Keller-Sutter of the center-right Radical-Liberal Party as two new
members of the council, bringing the number of female members to
2018 Dec 6, In Geneva two days
of UN talks on Western Sahara ended with all sides promising to meet
again for a similar "round table" in the first quarter of 2019, UN
envoy Horst Koehler told reporters after the meeting ended
2018 Dec 16, In Switzerland a
tour bus on its way to Germany crashed, killing one person and
injuring 44 others.
2018 Dec 17, Switzerland and
Britain signed an agreement guaranteeing that flights between the
two countries can continue uninterrupted even if London opts to
leave the European Union without a deal with Brussels.
2019 Jan 4, Dutch authorities
said they will hold Swiss shipping line MSC liable for the cost of
cleaning up debris from more than 270 cargo containers that fell off
one of its vessels and washed up on shore. Roughly 35 containers
have been located and the remainder were lost at sea.
2019 Jan 5, Switzerland-based
shipping company MSC said that it was committed to finding and
retrieving the containers that went overboard on Jan. 2 in a North
Sea storm until the last one is found.
2019 Jan 12, In northern Sweden
a mining company truck crashed into a minibus early today. Six Swiss
citizens were killed and one person was injured in the crash.
(AP, 1/12/19)(AP, 1/13/19)
2019 Jan 13, In Switzerland a
fire broke out this morning in a six-story building in the
southeastern city of Chur. A father (33) from the Dominican Republic
and his two young children died in the fire and police were
investigating if the man set the fire deliberately.
2019 Jan 22, In Switzerland the
annual World Economic Forum opened in Davos. Brazil's President Jair
Bolsonaro gave the keynote address vowing an investment-friendly
agenda and attacking leftwing politics in Latin America. US
President Donald Trump along with the leaders of France, Britain and
Zimbabwe stayed away from the forum as they fought political fires
2019 Feb 1, TIPH (Temporary
International Presence in Hebron) countries Switzerland, Sweden,
Norway, Italy and Turkey, condemned in a joint statement the Israeli
government's unilateral decision not to extend the observer force's
mission in the flashpoint city.
2019 Feb 2, Avalanches in
Austria, France and Switzerland killed four people.
2019 Feb 16, Bruno Ganz (77),
Swiss actor, died in Zurich. He gave masterful performances as Adolf
Hitler in "Downfall" (2004) and an angel seeking mortality in
divided Berlin in "Wings of Desire" (1987).
2019 Feb 19, In Switzerland an
avalanche buried several skiers on the busy slopes of the resort of
Crans-Montana. Scores of rescuers worked to dig out survivors. 10 to
12 people were believed to be trapped under the snow. A Frenchman
(34) whose job was to check the safety of ski slopes, was one of
four people rescued, but soon died from injuries in the avalanche.
(AP, 2/19/19)(AP, 2/20/19)
2019 Feb 20, Swiss-based
commodities giant Glencore said it will cap how much coal it mines
amid shareholder pressure for it to help reduce global emissions of
2019 Feb 22, Hanna Johannes
Cosar, a former Swiss soldier, was found guilty in Zurich of
violating Swiss neutrality. He had commanded a Christian militia
fighting Islamic State in Syria. Cosar was fined 500 Swiss francs
($499), a relatively lenient punishment, after being convicted by a
Swiss military tribunal.
2019 Feb 25, In Switzerland the
international boxing association (AIBA) said it has approved new
uniforms for female boxers to wear for religious reasons. Hijabs and
full body form-fitting uniforms have been designed.
2019 Mar 1, In Switzerland
former FIFA senior vice president David Chung was banned from soccer
for 6½ years for financial wrongdoing linked to a $20 million
building project. The Papua New Guinea official resigned as Oceania
president after a FIFA-appointed audit found irregularities linked
to awarding of contracts for its headquarters in Auckland.
2019 Mar 4, In Switzerland the
electric Jaguar I-Pace won the Car of the Year award in Europe ahead
of the 89th Geneva International Motor Show, at the Palexpo in
Geneva. This was first time the storied British brand has been
bestowed the prize.
2019 Mar 7, In Geneva
Volkswagen-owned Bugatti said a one-off Bugatti luxury sports car
has been sold for a record 16.7 million euros ($18.9 million).
2019 Mar 8, The Swiss
government said it will not help bring home adult citizens who
joined up with jihadist fighters in Syria and Iraq, insisting
national security was paramount.
2019 Mar 19, Switzerland's
parliament approved allowing convicted militants to be sent home to
countries where they could face torture, leaving the government to
decide how to implement the motion without breaking international
2019 Mar 21, In Switzerland a
woman (75), who wasn't named, stabbed to death a boy (7) as he
walked home from school. She was arrested shortly after the attack
in the northwestern city of Basel. The boy's family was originally
from Kosovo and police investigations indicated he hadn't known the
2019 Mar 22, The Swiss
government said Britons will be exempt from visa requirements to
enter Switzerland in case Britain leaves the EU without a withdrawal
2019 Apr 4, In Geneva Vilma
Nunez, a leading Nicaraguan human rights defender, said that it was
impossible to negotiate with President Daniel Ortega, after a
deadline passed in talks to resolve the country's deadly political
2019 Apr 26, An avalanche in
southern Switzerland killed four German skiers near the village of
2019 May 1, The Swiss-based
IAAF, the sports world's highest court, ruled that Olympic champion
Caster Semenya and other female runners like her with unusually high
testosterone must take medication to reduce their levels of the male
sex hormone if they want to compete in certain events. South
Africa's Olympic athlete Caster Semenya said the decision will not
hold her back.
2019 May 19, Swiss voters
agreed by a nearly two-to-one margin to adopt tighter gun controls
in line with changes to EU rules, heading off a clash with Brussels.
2019 May 28, The United States
walked out of a Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to protest
against Venezuela assuming the rotating presidency of the
UN-sponsored forum, as it did a year ago when Syria took the chair.
2019 May 31, In Switzerland a
three-hour standoff in Zurich ended early today after a 60-year-old
Swiss man apparently killed two female hostages (34 and 38) and
himself in a flat south west of Zurich.
2019 Jun 5, In Switzerland one
person was killed and six others injured in an accident at the
mountain resort of Engelberg Titlis during maintenance work on an
out-of-service ski lift.
2019 Jun 14, Women across
Switzerland held a strike to highlight their wealthy nation's poor
record on female rights, recreating the passion of the first such
walkout in 1991.
2019 Jun 15, In Switzerland a
woman drowned in Lake Geneva when her sightseeing boat sank as a
violent storm battered parts of the country.
2019 Jun 24, The Swiss attorney
general's office (OAG) announced it was returning 130 million Swiss
francs ($133 million) to Uzbekistan which it seized during an
investigation involving a relative of the daughter of former
president Islam Karimov.
2019 Jun 29, Swiss police in
Geneva fired water cannon, tear gas and stun grenades at Cameroonian
protesters outside UN headquarters as the crowd surged towards a
luxury hotel hosting Cameroon's Pres. Paul Biya.
2019 Jun 30, It was reported
that some 60,000 people considered "deviant" by the Swiss
authorities were locked up over the course of the 20th century. The
practice peaked in Switzerland in the 1930s but was still legal as
late as 1981.
2019 Jul 4, Swiss scientists
reported that the most effective way to fight global warming is to
plant trees, a trillion of them, maybe more.
(SFC, 7/5/19, p.A8)
2019 Jul 17, Switzerland
confirmed that it has agreed to extradite Chinese researcher Gongda
Xue to the United States where prosecutors have charged him with
helping his scientist sister steal secrets allegedly worth $550
million from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.
2019 Aug 6, Belgian prosecutors
said HSBC's Swiss private banking arm has agreed to pay nearly 300
million euros ($336 million) to settle a tax fraud case in Belgium,
the latest blow for the Alpine state's banking sector.
2019 Aug 17, In Switzerland the
World Wildlife Conference on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES) opened in Geneva.
(SFC, 8/18/19, p.A6)
2019 Aug 22, In Switzerland
countries voted overwhelmingly to regulate international trade in
giraffes, an endangered species, and in their body parts, overcoming
objections by southern African states and drawing praise from
conservationists. The provisional decision, taken in a key committee
of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES), was expected to be endorsed at a plenary next week.
2019 Aug 25, In Switzerland
countries at a CITES meeting on the global wildlife trade agreed to
strengthen protections for 18 threatened species of sharks and rays,
including those whose fins are prized for making Chinese soups.
2019 Sep 18, Swiss drugmaker
Novartis AG's Sandoz unit said it was halting distribution of its
versions of the drug commonly known as Zantac in all its markets,
including the United States and Canada, after contaminants were
found in the heartburn drug.
2019 Sep 22, In Switzerland
hundreds of climate activists paid their respects to the Pizol
glacier that is due to disappear over the next decade, the victim of
a warming environment.
2019 Sep 28, In Switzerland
thousands of people demonstrated in Bern to call for more
action to curb climate change.
(SSFC, 9/29/19, p.A4)
2019 Sep 29, Swiss-based
Novartis said that Kisqali helped women with advanced breast cancer
after menopause live longer, adding to data the Swiss company hopes
will help convince doctors to choose its drug over Pfizer's
2019 Oct 7, Swiss-based
Novartis said its anti-blindness medicine Beovu has become the
latest eye drug to win US Food and Drug Administration approval,
giving the drugmaker a boost in the increasingly competitive market
for eye problems among an aging population.
2019 Oct 8, Canadian James
Peebles (84) and Swiss scientists Michel Mayor (77) and Didier
Queloz (53) won the physics prize for their work in understanding
how the universe has evolved from the Big Bang and the blockbuster
discovery of a planet outside our solar system.
2019 Oct 20, The Greens made
strong gains in Switzerland's election today while the far-right
party lost ground, early results showed, potentially putting
environmentalists in the mix for a seat in the coalition that has
governed the country for decades.
2019 Oct 23, In Switzerland a
Syrian Kurdish man set himself on fire in front of the United
Nations refugee agency's headquarters in Geneva. Security guards
doused the flames and the man was then taken by helicopter to a
hospital in Lausanne that specializes in treating burns.
2019 Oct 29, A Swiss minister
said over 10% of the Alpine country's glaciers have been lost over
the last five years — a depletion not seen in over a century — as
the UN's weather agency opened its first-ever meeting on how climate
change is affecting mountains.
2019 Nov 11, Swiss-based
Roche's bid to rival Biogen and Novartis in treating spinal muscular
atrophy (SMA) got a lift when the drugmaker said its drug risdiplam
improved motor function in a key study.
2019 Nov 13, Switzerland
approved a change to its environmental legislation allowing
companies to take part in the European Union’s emissions trading
2019 Nov 16, In Switzerland
climate-change activists blocked Geneva airport's private jet
terminal in protest against what they said is an absurd form of
2019 Nov 18, Swiss-based
Novartis said is exiting drug discovery at its Shanghai site and
shifting its focus to drug development as accelerating approvals in
China are pushing the company to dedicate the operation's resources
to getting its medicines to market.