Swiss Review 3/2022

JULY 2022 Swiss Review The magazine for the Swiss Abroad Ukraine war turns Swiss refugee policy on its head Swiss lakes will soon heat and cool thousands of homes Lucerne’s gigantic bunker – a throwback to the Cold War

© Milo Zanecchia Secure your place at the 98th Congress of the Swiss Abroad from 19-21 August 2022 in Lugano! Our partners: In sunny Ticino, the President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis and other top-class speakers will talk about the challenges for our democracy. Register now for the plenary session with workshop, the final evening and the Sunday trip up to Monte Generoso, some of which have limited capacity. More information and registration:

Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol – we have all seen the terrible images from Ukraine. They show the reality of war: fear and horror, death and destruction, atrocities and displacement. This war challenges everyone. It is even changing Switzerland. Having maintained a restrictive refugee policy for many years, the country is now opening its doors. Tens of thousands of refugees from Ukraine, who arrived laden with troubles but with few belongings, have been admitted into the country, no questions asked. The war is also making Switzerland question itself. How is a small country that calls itself neutral to behave? When does neutral non-involvement turn into indifference? When the war started, the Federal Council initially decided neutral Switzerland would not impose sanctions on Russia, opting instead to ensure the country could not be used as a platform for circumventing sanctions. It was far from clear what that actually meant in practical terms. Since then, Switzerland has been on something of a mission. Just a few days later, the country adopted all the EU sanctions, as neutrality could not mean not taking a position, said Ignazio Cassis, the president of the Confederation. Russia responded by placing Switzerland on its list of unfriendly countries. Meanwhile, Russia’s dealings with Switzerland remain extensive and opaque. Some 80 per cent of Russia’s commodity trading goes through Switzerland. Oligarchs with ties to the Kremlin have assets worth up to 200 billion Swiss francs stashed away in Switzerland. Swiss asset hunters have only located and frozen a fraction of that amount. This has prompted the Helsinki Commission, an independent US government authority, to pull no punches, calling Switzerland a “leading enabler of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin”. Switzerland may well have to conduct a detailed review of its anti-money laundering laws as a result. But what about those who have no billions but their lives and future to worry about? We met some displaced Ukrainians currently living in a small village near Berne, and asked the question: how is Switzerland treating refugees from Ukraine? MARC LETTAU, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Their meagre luggage belies a heavy burden Cover photo: Street protest in Lausanne against the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Photo: Jean-Christophe Bott, Keystone “Swiss Review”, the information magazine for the “Fifth Switzerland”, is published by the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad. 4 Focus Switzerland welcomes refugees from Ukraine 8 Top pick / News 10 Nature and the environment When everyone in search of relaxation wants a piece of the forest 12 Images 14 Science Generating heat from lakes? Switzerland discovers hydrothermal power News from your region 17 Switzerland in figures 18 Society The Council of the Swiss Abroad calls on the Federal Council to ban Nazi symbols 20 Literature Charles Linsmayer – the advocate of forgotten Swiss authors 22 Report Switzerland’s biggest nuclear bunker evokes memories of the Cold War 25 Sport Sprinter Mujinga Kambundji writes her own chapter in Swiss athletics history 26 Notes from the Federal Palace 29 SwissCommunity news 30 Discussion Comments from our readers Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 3 Editorial Contents

4 Schwerpunkt Refugees welcome Alexander Volkov, daughter-in-law Yulia and grandson Sergiy fled Donbas and ended up in Mittelhäusern. Most of Ukraine’s refugees are mothers, children and elderly people like them. Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 4 Focus

5 THEODORA PETER AND MARC LETTAU “When I sleep at night, I dream of my dacha,” says Alexander Volkov. And of the vines that he should now be tending. The retired metallurgical engineer from Kramatorsk is currently residing 2,500 kilometres from his summer lodge in a small Bernese village that he never knew existed until recently: Mittelhäusern. Volkov is Ukrainian. Aside from the random destination, Volkov’s journey here was little different to that of millions of other people from Ukraine. He and his daughter-in-law Yulia and grandson Sergiy fled the shelling and bombing of their home city in Donbas, leaving the death, destruction and suffering of war behind them. In Switzerland, the refugee authorities informed Volkov that he and his family had an “invitation to stay in Mittelhäusern”. This was a stroke of luck for them. “Our host family has been very kind to us.” Nevertheless, the situation in Donbas and specifically in Kramatorsk is constantly on Volkov’s mind. “Every morning, we start the day by finding out what is happening and whether our house is still standing.” He wonders which outcome is better: a “good war” claiming many lives, or a “bad peace” leading to years of uncertainty and enmity. There are others in Mittelhäusern who share the same thoughts. Whenever he takes a stroll with his walking cane, he is liable to bump into fellow refugee Anhelina Kharaman and her mother and daughter, who are also staying with hosts in the village. They come from Mariupol, the flattened city in southern Ukraine. Mykola Nahornyi and Lilia Nahorna, a couple from Dnipro, are currently troops marched into Hungary in 1956 and the former Czechoslovakia in 1968, for example. In March, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the Federal Council activated “protection status S” for Ukrainian refugees – a specific category that has existed on paper since the 1990s, when many people fled the Yugoslav wars. Switzerland had never triggered this specific protective status before, even when millions of people were displaced during the war in Syria. Refugee organisations call for equal treatment Protection status S affords Ukrainian refugees the priceless advantage of being able to register with the authorities without having to file an asylum application. They can look for work Tens of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the war have arrived in Switzerland. The unbureaucratic manner in which they have been admitted into the country bears testimony to a groundswell of solidarity, but also reveals the flaws in Switzerland’s asylum system. staying in Mittelhäusern as well. They too have a garden back home, with fruit and vegetables that they would normally be preserving for winter. Wave of solidarity Around a dozen Ukrainian refugees currently live in Mittelhäusern – a dozen out of over 50,000 women, children and elderly people who fled to Switzerland during the first three months of the war. The Second World War was the last time so many people sought refuge in Switzerland in such a short period. The country has seen a wave of solidarity, as people donate aid, offer support and welcome Ukrainians into their homes – a response similar to other shows of generosity in the past. Switzerland welcomed refugees from Eastern Europe with open arms after Soviet Anhelina Kharaman enjoying the spring blossom in Switzerland – her home city of Mariupol lies in ruins. Photos: Danielle Liniger Identity card with the coveted “S” – the Federal Council has activated “protection status S” for the first time, allowing Ukrainian refugees to integrate quickly into Swiss life. Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3

Questions over Swiss neutrality After initially hesitating, the Federal Council adopted all the EU sanctions against Russia. This has ignited a political debate about Swiss neutrality. THEODORA PETER Russia’s attack on a sovereign European country is intolerable “under international law and on political and moral grounds”, President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis told the media four days after the invasion began at the end of February. “Playing into the hands of an aggressor is not neutral,” he added, explaining why Switzerland was adopting the EU’s full package of severe economic sanctions against Russia. This was a clear departure from the Federal Council’s previous stance, which had been limited simply to preventing Russia from evading sanctions. The Swiss government had refused to apply EU sanctions directly following the annexation of Crimea back in 2014, referring to the country’s neutral status. This U-turn by Berne drew worldwide attention. The “New York Times” went so far as to declare that Switzerland was abandoning its tradition of neutrality, but the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) rejected this interpretation. “Switzerland continues to uphold its neutrality in the strict sense of the term,” it wrote on its website, i.e. the law of neutrality and not favouring any warring party militarily. Codified in the 1907 Hague Convention, the law of neutrality obliges neutral states to refrain from engaging in war and to ensure equal treatment for belligerent states in terms of providing war material. Neutrality versus political reality However, Switzerland is not bound by international treaties with regard to how it applies its neutrality. All the Federal Constitution says is that the Federal Council and parliament should take measures to safeguard the neutrality of Switzerland. How they actually go about this depends on the individual circumstances and how these are interpreted. “Swiss neutrality has always been stretchable and kneadable like chewing gum,” said historian Hans-Ulrich Jost in an interview with the “SonntagsZeitung”. Jost noted that Switzerland was practically integrated into Germany’s armaments economy during the Second World War. Berne even gave the Nazis loans to buy ammunition and weapons in Switzerland. The Confederation’s close economic and financial ties abroad meant that its mythical neutrality was often incompatible with political reality. There is no ideal neutrality, Jost concluded. SVP wants a popular initiative The Ukraine war has reignited debate over the extent to which Swiss neutrality can be reconciled with real world events. By joining the economic sanctions against Russia, Switzerland has become a party to the war, laments the SVP. The right-wing party therefore plans to launch a popular initiative aimed at enshrining the concept of ’integral neutrality’ in the Federal Constitution. However, the other political parties believe that Putin’s ’attack on Western values’ spells the end of traditional Swiss neutrality. Politicians from The Centre and the FDP even want to allow arms shipments to friendly nations, while alignment with the NATO defensive alliance no longer appears taboo for some. In other words, Switzerland is in the process of redefining its neutrality. Russia’s attack on Ukraine brought tens of thousands of Swiss people on to the streets. Thousands of Ukrainian flags have also been hanging from Swiss balconies. Photo: Keystone Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 6 Focus

Switzerland. If you are penniless, you can apply for asylum support. The benefits you receive are 30 to 40 per cent below what people in Switzerland would normally get, however. Basically, government money is barely enough for you to subsist. Consequently, more and more Ukrainians are also queuing up at food banks. Asylum organisations warn that refugees will become destitute. They say the financial assistance for these people is pathetic for a country as rich as Switzerland. The generous Swiss families who have opened their doors to over 20,000 refugees are also taking a fiSome six million people have fled Ukraine since the war began. Switzerland expects to have accepted between 80,000 and 120,000 refugees by autumn. nancial hit. They receive nothing more than a symbolic payment depending on their respective canton, and often minimal support otherwise. “Many host families feel like they have been left to fend for themselves,” says Christoph Reichenau, co-founder of Ukraine-Hilfe Bern, a charity set up to help Ukrainian refugees. Ukraine-Hilfe Bern operates as a contact point for refugees and host families from its base near Berne railway station. It organises language courses, and its website acts as an interface for the many volunteers wanting to help. There is still a huge amount of solidarity among ordinary people, according to Reichenau. But a clear vision and improved guidelines are needed to “ensure that the outpouring of assistance develops into something more sustained.” No speedy return to Ukraine The authorities are working on the premise that the Ukrainian refugees will remain in Switzerland for longer than a year. It looks increasingly unlikely that many would want to return to Ukraine’s bombed-out cities any time soon. The Russian invasion was still unfolding at the time of our editorial deadline in mid-May. With the number of refugees continuing to rise (the federal government expects the total figure to be between 80,000 to 120,000 by autumn), the authorities not only have to provide more accommodation but also work out how to integrate the refugees into Swiss life. Alexander Volkov, Anhelina Kharaman, Mykola Nahornyi and Lilia Nahorna would return home immediately if they could. Back to their houses and gardens in Kramatorsk, Mariupol and Dnipro. In the meantime, Lilia Nahorna is growing seedlings in Swiss flower pots. She can easily take these back with her, to plant at home, in Ukraine. immediately, reunite with their family members in Switzerland and travel freely within the Schengen Area. Refugees from other war zones are denied these benefits. If you come from Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia or Iraq for example, you have to go through the regular asylum procedure and are not permitted to work or travel until your application has been processed. This also applies to anyone who is only temporarily admitted to Switzerland because it is not possible, not permitted or not reasonable for them to return to their home country. Refugee organisations welcome the government’s generous, pragmatic response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis. But all people fleeing armed conflict should be treated equally, they argue. “From a refugee’s perspective, it is irrelevant whether the war from which they are fleeing is a war of aggression by another country or a civil war between two parties within their own country,” says Seraina Nufer, who co-heads the protection department at the Swiss Refugee Council. Experts on immigration law think it is unacceptable that people escaping war zones in other countries are treated differently and, for example, have to wait three years before their family can join them in Switzerland. However, there is no groundswell among Swiss politicians to make the asylum process easier. The fear is that it would only encourage more immigration. Increasingly on the breadline But Switzerland is no paradise if you are a Ukrainian refugee either. First, you are worried sick about loved ones who remain in the war-torn country: husbands, fathers and sons who have been called up into the army. Then you have the problem of making ends meet. Most Ukrainian refugees lack the necessary language skills to quickly find a job in Lilia Nahorna and Mykola Nahornyi are impatient to return home to Dnipro and tend to their garden as soon as possible. Photo: Danielle Liniger Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 7

Star banker Pierin Vincenz goes to jail In April, Zurich’s district court found former Raiffeisen CEO Pierin Vincenz guilty of forgery and disloyal management (see also “Swiss Review” 2/2022), sentencing him to three years and nine months in prison and fining him 560,000 Swiss francs. Experts in criminal law said that convicting the banking supremo, who had become entangled in various conflicts of interest, amounted to a landmark decision. Gregor Münch of the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”: “One or two chief executives may be looking over their shoulder now.” (MUL) Switzerland opens an embassy at the Vatican The Pontifical Swiss Guard has always afforded our country a high profile at the Vatican. But it is only now that Switzerland has expressed its intention to open its own embassy there, with diplomat Denis Knobel set to become its first resident ambassador to the Holy See. The inauguration of an embassy sees Switzerland put to bed its historically fraught relationship with the Vatican. In 1873, the events of the ‘Kulturkampf’ between Catholics and Protestants in Switzerland led to the Federal Council severing diplomatic ties with the Holy See for several decades. It was not until 1991 that Switzerland appointed a diplomat for the Vatican again, and he is still based in Slovenia. (MUL) The EU wants clears answers from Switzerland The relationship between Switzerland and the EU remains a confusing work in progress. Since abandoning talks on a framework agreement in May 2021, Switzerland has been searching for ways to re-engage in dialogue with the EU. However, for the European Commission it is not clear what solutions Switzerland intends to pursue. According to Swiss radio (SRF) sources, Brussels has now submitted a range of questions to Berne. Only when it gets clear written answers to these, it says, will it be in a position to judge whether the Swiss government can bring anything to the table that would form a reliable basis for further negotiations. (MUL) The 89-year-old “Heimat” now runs on green fuel Scheduled boat services on Swiss lakes are a popular mode of public transport. Lake Greifensee now has its first-ever electric-powered ferry. The “Heimat”, built in 1933, will no longer run on diesel but use an electric engine instead. Switzerland’s big ferry companies are likely to follow suit. For example, Lake Constance will soon see its first electric passenger service. (MUL) Switzerland wants to spend more on defence A clear majority in the National Council voted in May to increase military spending to 7 billion Swiss francs a year. Provided the Council of States ratifies the decision, Switzerland’s military budget will rise by 1.4 billion francs. The National Council vote took place against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. (MUL) Tanja Stadler Tanja Stadler, Full Professor at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of ETH Zurich, was one of the key scientific figures in Switzerland during the pandemic. Within the Covid-19 Science Task Force set up to advise the authorities, Stadler led the panel of experts entrusted with calculating the all-important R number, which indicates whether the pandemic is growing or receding. The Swiss government used the R-number and other data to determine its anti-Covid strategy – a big responsibility for the mathematician, not least after she became chair of the task force in summer 2021. She was 40 at the time and one of the youngest on the committee. “This lady’s numbers determine our freedom” was the headline in one newspaper. Stadler herself is not one for hype. In the public crossfire, the multi-award-winning academic stuck soberly to facts and evidence. Nevertheless, like other scientists who appeared in public during the pandemic, she found herself the target of hatred and threats. However, she never fell into the trap of saying anything political. She always emphasised that she was just explaining the science, and it was up to the politicians to decide what to do. Any signals she may have given were subtle – for example when she appeared for a television interview still wearing a protective mask after the early lifting of restrictions in Switzerland. The task force disbanded at the end of March, but Tanja Stadler continues to study how viruses spread and change. Even as a child, she was interested in scientific phenomena. She has now become an inspiration for other young women aspiring to break into areas of science that used to be dominated by men. SUSANNE WENGER Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 8 Top pick News

More funding for EU border protection Switzerland is contributing financially to the expansion of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex. Its annual payment will rise from its current level of 24 million to 60 million Swiss francs by 2027. A clear 71.5 per cent of voters approved the proposal, which was opposed by the Migrant Solidarity Network and the left-wing and green political parties. Frontex has faced criticism for illegally turning away refugees at EU borders (Review 2/2022). The Federal Council promised to make a point of demanding the border agency comply with basic human rights. The European Commission welcomed this clear outcome, saying it showed how seriously Switzerland takes shared border control amid all the advantages of freedom of movement. (TP) New rules on organ donation Switzerland has done an about-turn on organ donation. At present, only people who have given their consent while still alive can become organ donors when they die. But it will be the other way round in future, i.e. anyone who does not wish to donate their own organs will have to make this known during their lifetime. A majority of 60.2 per cent approved a proposal that allows for a broader application of this opt-out model, whereby loved ones of the deceased must be consulted if nothing attests to the deceased having explicitly ruled out organ donation. This solution will only heap pressure on loved ones, say critics (see “Swiss Review” 2/2022). Support for the new rules was greater in French-speaking than in German-speaking Switzerland. The opt-out model already applies in several countries including France, Italy, Austria and Spain. (TP) Millions for the Swiss film industry Global streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney+ will in future be obliged to invest four per cent of their annual Swiss revenue in the Swiss film industry – or pay an exemption tax. This will provide domestic film-makers with around 20 million francs of extra funding every year. The revised Film Act attracted 58.4 per cent of votes, not least thanks to an emphatic yes from French and Italian-speaking Switzerland. German-speaking voters were more sceptical of this piece of state intervention on behalf of the movie industry. The price of streaming would also go up, opponents of the new law said. Switzerland is following the lead of other European countries in making Netflix and its competitors cough up. (TP) Voters back the Federal Council and parliament On 15 May, Swiss voters endorsed all three proposals submitted to a vote. The biggest yes was for increasing Switzerland’s monetary contribution to the EU border agency Frontex. Voter turnout was below average at 39.5 per cent. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 73.8% 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 77.8% 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 77.6% Swiss Abroad Swiss Abroad Swiss Abroad Funding Frontex – yes votes in per cent Organ donation opt-out model – yes votes in per cent Revision of the Film Act – yes votes in per cent Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 9 Politics

JÜRG STEINER What do the Swiss typically do in their free time? Eat fondue? Go hiking? No, they venture into the forest. According to the results of a monitoring survey published in March 2022 by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), 95 per cent of the Swiss – almost everyone, basically – regularly visit the woods. This is the highest proportion since academics began studying Switzerland’s relationship with its forests in 1997. However, “heading into the woods” in today’s Switzerland is no longer quite the same as it was 25 years ago, when all you had was a Vitaparcours fitness trail. Both people and forests are changing. Forests are playing an increasingly important role in our lives because they provide a natural haven from urban sprawl. Our woods have also become more vulnerable due to climate change and extreme weather – and are arguably no longer the hallowed, tranquil places they once were. Tree-felling controversy Katrin Sedlmayer, a former local politician in the Köniz suburb of Berne, was indignant. “The forest needs our help!” she wrote half a year ago at the bottom of a protest letter signed by some 400 other angry people who were demanding an end to what they saw as the unecological felling of significant swathes of the popular recreational forest on the Könizberg hill overlooking the capital. Könizbergwald, the forest situated on the municipal boundary between Berne and Köniz, is like a green island amid the rising urban tide. In recent years a new housing development for 2,000 inhabitants has been constructed a stone’s throw from the edge of Könizbergwald. The increase in the number of people seeking out the forest shows no sign of abating. Berne council, Switzerland’s third-largest forest owner, owns Könizbergwald. In response to criticism of its forestry policy, the council obtained the backing of the supervisory authority of the canton of Berne. It presented a report at the beginning of May, certifying that the tree felling was lawful in view of the challenges posed by climate change. Winter storms, drought and the bark beetle were taking a toll on the forest, said the experts. Major intervention was therefore necessary, legitimate and even environmentally far-sighted. The advisable approach My best friend, the forest In Switzerland, more of us than ever regularly head into the woods. But other people more frequently dampen our enjoyment of the experience than they used to. Our relationship with the forest has become a little complicated. was to plant new species of tree that could cope with rising temperatures better than spruce forests, which are prone to the heat. Conflicts of interest The controversy surrounding Könizbergwald is a local example of the growing pressure on all forests in Switzerland’s densely populated Central Plateau region. Switzerland’s national ban on deforestation, applicable since 1876 and probably the most radical and effective environmental law the country has ever seen, acts as a safeguard against dwindling forests. But not against conflicts of interest. Berne council owns other recreational forests near the city, where it has made space for bike trails, wood chip trails, and child day-care facilities. However, it has also Learning and exploring at a ‘forest kindergarten'. The woods surrounding Switzerland’s towns and cities are also a popular playground for children. Photo: Keystone Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 10 Nature and the environment

Switzerland’s forests have never dwindled since the 1876 ban on deforestation – probably the most radical environmental law that the country has ever seen. closed off certain areas of forest, leaving dead wood on the ground to enhance biodiversity. The council says it feels compelled to step up its communication efforts and explain to people about the very different ways in which society relies on forested areas – this on top of the fact that the use of wood as a native building material and energy source is also gaining greater importance. More people than ever are heading to the woods – and want more from their forests than ever. Expectations, and satisfaction levels, are shifting. We want to move freely in the forest. We want to take a deep breath and switch off in the forest. We want to observe the animals in the forest. But we also want to play paintball, visit rope parks, go orienteering, grill sausages on an open fire, and sleep under the trees. Some people want peace and quiet. Others want to let off steam. Often in close vicinity. A place to escape In the WSL survey, which was conducted before the pandemic, the proportion of forest visitors who said they were never bothered by anything during their visits to the woods was much lower than it was ten years ago. Satisfaction with forest recreation remains high and people return from the experience feeling refreshed. Nevertheless, things like litter, speeding bikers, and outdoor partying are detracting from people’s enjoyment. Covid restrictions during the pandemic probably increased the potential for friction. People were suddenly frequenting parts of forests where you used to be able to feel alone in the world. Teenagers would seek out the remotest corners, set up their loudspeakers and make merry all night long. It was as if the forest were the only place for people to escape the crisis for a while. In an interview with the “Tages-Anzeiger” shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Swiss survival coach Gian Saluz summed it up perfectly, saying that he would retreat to the forest if the worst ever came to the worst, because this is where people can survive best in extreme situations. Solitude The forest is like a friend who is always there – someone you can rely on when the going gets tough, an Whizzing past others who want peace and quiet. Forests have become popular recreational spaces, albeit not to universal approval. Photo: Keystone unflappable presence providing refuge from the pressures of life and work. Many people told the WSL survey that they visited the forest because they wanted to get away and spend time alone, close to nature. Far away from civilisation. South of the capital Berne, there is one such place: a deep, woody ravine situated only 12 kilometres from the Federal Palace, running underneath the road that takes you to the village of Schwarzenburg. When the Rhône glacier retreated 20,000 years ago, the meltwater carved into the soft sandstone to create a winding gorge. This untamed waterway is called Schwarzwasser (black water) on account of the dark trees all around. Further upstream, the valley’s wooded flanks seem to close in on either side, rising up improbably steep banks. The sky above is a mere dot, while the terrain below is a twisting, turning law unto itself, constantly fluctuating from corner to corner. Patches of mud slither to the bottom after heavy rainfall, taking vegetation and everything else with them. Uprooted, decaying trees protrude in various directions, like macabre skeletons. Sometimes a fox or a few chamois or deer can be spotted stealing through the detritus. You very rarely see other people. It is a wild and wonderful forest, as reliable as your best friend. The outside world is far away, yet also so near. Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3

Anyone who knows what a tympanum is can skip the following few lines. For those who don’t know, it is a lavishly decorated semicircular or triangular wall surface over an entrance, door or window. Tympanums originally adorned the triangular gables of ancient columned Greek temples. The Federal Palace in Berne also has a tympanum above its entrance, albeit a very plain-looking one. Typical Swiss understatement, you may think. But this is not the case. After its opening in 1902, the Federal Palace was simply never completed. The omission is fairly inconspicuous; most people probably think the tympanum was left like this on purpose. In reality, the original Federal Palace design shown at the 1896 national exhibition in Geneva had a tympanum filled with all manner of protagonists and symbols celebrating the Swiss nation. After well over a century, the gap will soon be filled in. Renée Levi, a Swiss artist who specialises in painting and installations, is masterminding the project. She plans to cover the tympanum in a mosaic of 246 triangular, quadrangular and pentagonal ceramic panels. Grooved and finely glazed, the panels will reflect the ever-changing natural and artificial light of its surroundings. For Levi, this dazzling work of art is meant as a tribute to Tilo Frey (1923–2008), one of the first 12 women – and the first black woman – to be elected to the National Council in 1971. The Federal Palace, built in an era when women’s suffrage was still inconceivable, will now be getting the feminine touch after all. Levi’s piece will be unveiled on 12 September 2023 – the 175th anniversary of the Federal Constitution. Curious to know why the mosaic consists of 246 ceramic panels? You can impress your friends on the big day by explaining that there are 246 members of parliament. All the panels are of a similar size, all have corners and edges, and all are clearly delineated. And although their inner grooves vary, the 246 panels form a seamless whole. MARC LETTAU Federal Palace to be completed at last This corrugated cardboard mockup brings the artistic idea to life. With grooves pointing in different directions, the panels will reflect and disrupt the ever-changing light. This will turn the building’s imposing static facade into something altogether more fluid. The Federal Palace tympanum currently consists of plain sandstone blocks. Its original design was a lavish piece of artwork celebrating the Swiss nation, but the plans were never executed. 12 Images

The new Federal Palace tympanum will feature 246 finely glazed ceramic panels joined together – symbolising the 246 seats in the two parliamentary chambers. Professor Renée Levi is an architect and artist who has been teaching fine art and painting at the Basel Academy of Art and Design since 2001. Levi is known for her large art installations, developing a work that focuses on the perception of space using colours that are often very bright. 13

STÉPHANE HERZOG Heating engineer Fabrice Malla guides us 17 metres below the surface of Lake Geneva, in the area known as Vengeron. Here we are in a concrete cathedral, 70 metres long. In 2024, this sump will receive the equivalent of three Olympic swimming pools of cold water, collected two kilometres offshore, at a depth of 45 metres. From 2024, electric pumps will push this liquid towards two networks. The first, built in a closed loop, will serve the buildings spread around the airport. The second network will feed cold water directly into the buildings of the city centre. Heat pumps installed by Services industriels de Genève (SIG) in a planned total of 300 buildings will enable the extraction and amplification of heat from the water. Welcome to the world of hydrothermal energy, a universe in which cold water can generate heat. Fabrice Malla cites other similar large-scale projects, notably in Toronto and Honolulu. The facility in Vengeron, budgeted at 100 million Swiss francs, will be the starting point of one of the biggest hydrothermal networks in the world. “We are going to irrigate half the canton with hot and cold water,” says the SIG engineer. The operation will drastically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases generated. The electric energy used for running the network will be of hydraulic origin, according to spokesperson Véronique Tanerg Henneberg. But this is not necessarily the rule. “Heat pumps require electricity, but we don’t have enough. The progressive move away from nuclear energy will involve the development of solar and wind energy,” in the view of Martin Schmid, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). Due to global warming, summer demand for cooling is ineviAuch Seen werden künftig unsere Gebäude kühlen und heizen Angesichts des Klimawandels wird vermehrt die in Seen gespeicherte Energie genutzt. So wird in Genf künftig eine der grössten hydrothermischen Anlagen der Welt Kälte und Wärme für hunderte von Gebäuden liefern. Das Potenzial der Schweizer Seen ist beachtlich, ihr Zustand jedoch zugleich besorgniserregend. Lakes s t to cool and heat a increasing proportion of our buildings The cl mate emergency is speed ng up the energy exploitation of our lakes. In Geneva, one of he largest hydrothermal faciliti s in the world is set to provide he ting and cooling s rvices fo hund eds of buildi gs. Ther is great potential i the Swiss lakes. But their health pres nts a once n. Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 14 Science

tably set to increase. But demand for heating will drop, thanks to improved housing insulation. A multitude of small stations In Switzerland, the development of hydrothermal energy dates back to the 1930s, when small stations were built to heat a few buildings. There are hundreds of them. Now, large-scale projects in urban areas bordering the lakes, notably in Zug and Zurich, are coming to the fore. Thanks to water collected at a depth of 45 metres in two stations, Lake Lucerne provides lake-based energy to 3,700 homes in the centre of Lucerne. In Horw, 6,800 homes will receive energy from the lake. In Biel, hydrothermal energy is set to be provided from autumn 2022. The town is planning for 185 connection points, leading to an 80 per cent drop in CO2 emissions. The energy resources of the Swiss lakes seem to be a sort of blue gold. The figures are simply mind-boggling. According to an article written in 2018 by the Eawag institute, total energy consumption in Switzerland equates to 850 petajoules per year, or 236 terawatt-hours (with the nuclear plant in Gösgen producing 7.9 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2021). Half of this energy is used to heat buildings and in industrial processes and is derived from gas and heating oil. But Lake Geneva alone, used in accordance with legal standards regarding hydrothermal energy, could theoretically generate almost a third of all of the energy consumed in Switzerland each year! “The energy from our lakes will cover 30 per cent of our heating needs. Approximately one building in three located in a dense area, near to a lake, will benefit from urban heating connected to a sustainable resource, including hydrothermal energy,” estimates François Maréchal, professor at EPFL specialising in energy systems. The researcher describes hydrothermal energy as “a super-resource, but one that no one talks about”. But Switzerland is leading the field, comments Martin Schmid. The question of water discharge into rivers There remains the question of the impact of these procedures, as the water drawn is partially discharged back into water currents at a different temperature. During this cycle, water drawn at 6 °C in Lake Geneva, for example, will later be discharged at 3 °C in the Rhone, which itself is at 1.5 °C. In summer, water at 8 °C will be drawn from the bottom of the lake and discharged at 13 °C in river surface water reaching 20 °C. All of the studies point to the same conclusion: even if all of the Swiss energy demands for heating and cooling were covered by the lakes, the discharge would have a low to non-existent impact, given the small differences in temperature between the pumped water and the discharged water. “To modify the temperature of Lake Geneva by one degree, there would need to be 100 stations like that in Vengeron,” explains Malla. Switzerland does have rules that it follows. For example, the temperature of a water current cannot vary by more than 1.5 °C in an area with trout. “If the legal provisions are correctly taken into account, the exploitation of hydrothermal energy could really happen,” believes Nicolas Wüthrich from Pro Natura. There is also another problem: rising temperatures in the lakes. In Lake Geneva, mild winters have prevented the deep beds of the lake stirring for ten years; without oxygen, these areas risk biological death. This phenomenon hinders the production of cold energy via hydrothermal exploitation. Heating also tends to provoke the development of invasive species. One such species is the quagga mussel, the larvae of which penetrate the supply networks for drinking water and water destined for hydrothermal energy production, requiring the water to be treated with chlorine. Another subject of concern: if the water is discharged far from the point of extraction, there is a risk of displacement of nutrients and pollutants, notes Eawag. Pro Natura worries that, in rivers and streams in particular, the raised temperature could be a threat to certain species. For example, the effects of shade virtually disappear at temperatures above 25 °C. “This makes the reintroduction of large quantities of heated cooling water over the year a delicate process.” Nevertheless, water currents with well-shaded riverbanks will help to keep temperatures lower, suggests Pro Natura. In winter, the discharge of colder water produced through hydrothermal heating systems could even theoretically have a positive effect. “But interfering with the natural balance is always a risky business” warns Nicolas Wüthrich. The huge pipes are indicative of how much water will be taken from Lake Geneva: 10,000 litres per second. Photo: Keystone Heating Heat exchanger Heat pump Cooling Pumping station Rhône Lake 40m The Geneva hydrothermal project aims to provide a double benefit. In winter, energy is taken from the water by means of a heat pump in order to heat a building. In summer, a building can be cooled using cool water taken from the depths. Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 15

MARC LETTAU Does the latest print edition of “Swiss Review” seem familiar and yet somewhat different? Then you will have noticed that we have revamped the layout. We have done a thorough spring clean. Countless people helped us: the many suggestions in our 2021 readership survey for improving the magazine’s design helped us in this regard. Rearranged In terms of the magazine structure, we have changed the article sequence. We have put content that we consider particularly important – the Focus article and the latest news – nearer the front. The reader comments now have pride of place in the SwissCommunity section. And rightly so, because our readers are the Swiss community in the proper sense. Colour coding When doing a spring clean, it is a good idea to arrange things in a way that makes it easy to see what goes where. In the magazine, you can now distinguish between the journalistic content (white pages), the Federal Administration content (beige pages), and where the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad and its partner organisations have their say (blue pages). This colour coding also makes it easier to see whether the magazine includes a regional section. Tidy We do not plan to turn “Swiss Review” into a glossy magazine. It will remain simple, understated and not one gram too heavy, so that we can continue posting it around the world. However, we have given the magazine a good old tidy-up and allowed ourselves greater freedom in how we visually present the content. The Focus article in this edition is a good example, with the vibrant pictures afforded a little more emphasis. Hopefully, this will enhance the reading experience. This spring clean also demonstrates our commitment to the print edition, which provides many Swiss Abroad with an important, valued and tangible connection to Switzerland. At present, 325,000 readers enjoy the print edition of “Swiss Review”. A new look for “Swiss Review” The print edition of “Swiss Review” now has a new look. We have revamped the layout. This demonstrates our commitment to the print edition, which a great many of you read around the world. © Consular services anywhere, conveniently on your mobile devices Bucharest (2022) Schweizer Schulabschluss von jedem Ort der Welt Jetzt schnuppern! Info und Kontakt unter swissonlineschool-hoch.indd 1 20.10.21 11:49 The cover of the revamped print edition of “Swiss Review” has a new but familiar look. We redesigned the online edition a while ago, creating a site that also has something to offer for readers of the print edition. Visit for additional pictures, videos, and in-depth content. Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 16 A word from the editor

From free-range hens to freedom of the press 22 There are no more Covid restrictions in Switzerland – for the time being. Consequently, tedious traffic jams are back with a vengeance. Stretching 22 kilometres, the tailback on the southbound A2 before Easter was the longest so far this year. Talk about ‘freedom to travel’. 260 An eaten egg is a good egg. A discarded egg is not so good. Think of the waste! How much perfectly edible food does the average Swiss household throw away? A quarter of a tonne, or 260 kilos, every year. But the Swiss believe they are doing much better than they actually are, with two thirds saying that they are wasting a lot less food than this. 1,100,000,000 And talking of Easter: Switzerland’s hens are pulling their weight, laying 1.1 billion eggs in 2021 – more than ever before. Our hens are also a little happier than they were, with the proportion of free-range eggs and organic eggs having increased by 185 per cent and 107 per cent respectively in the last ten years. 14 Are Easter traffic jams and Easter eggs too banal for you? Maybe some data revealing the behaviour – or misbehaviour – of Swiss banks will get your pulse racing instead. However, banking secrecy laws have recently resulted in journalists having to ‘censor’ themselves. Under Swiss law, bank-client confidentiality takes precedence over freedom of the press. This means that Switzerland has dropped out of the World Press Freedom Index top ten for the first time ever. It now languishes in 14th place. “Swiss Review”, the magazine for the Swiss Abroad, is in its 48th year of publication and is published six times a year in German, French, English and Spanish in 13 regional editions. It has a total circulation of 431,000, including 253,000 electronic copies. “Swiss Review”’s regional news appears four times a year. The ordering parties are fully responsible for the content of advertisements and promotional inserts. This content does not necessarily represent the opinion of either the editorial office or the publisher. All Swiss Abroad who are registered with a Swiss representation receive the magazine free of charge. Anyone else can subscribe for an annual fee (Switzerland: CHF 30 / abroad: CHF 50). ONLINE EDITION EDITORS Marc Lettau, Editor-in-Chief (MUL) Stéphane Herzog (SH) Theodora Peter (TP) Susanne Wenger (SWE) Paolo Bezzola (PB, FDFA representative) FDFA OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS The editorial responsibility for the “Notes from the Federal Palace” section is assumed by the Consular Directorate, Innovation and Partnerships, Effinger- strasse 27, 3003 Berne, Switzerland. | EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sandra Krebs (KS) TRANSLATION SwissGlobal Language Services AG, Baden LAYOUT Joseph Haas, Zürich PRINT Vogt-Schild Druck AG, Derendingen PUBLISHER The “Swiss Review” is published by the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA). The postal address of the publisher, the editorial office and advertising department is: Organisation of the Swiss Abroad, Alpenstrasse 26, 3006 Berne. Phone: +41 31 356 61 10 Bank details: CH97 0079 0016 1294 4609 8 / KBBECH22 COPY DEADLINE FOR THIS EDITION 11 May 2022 CHANGES TO DELIVERY Please advise your local embassy or consulate. The editorial team cannot access your address and administrative data. Thank you. FIGURES COMPILED BY MARC LETTAU 194 How about this for an ‘egg-quation’? All Swiss-produced eggs + all imported eggs ÷ the number of people in Switzerland = 194. That is the annual per capita consumption of eggs in Switzerland. Sounds like a lot, but egg consumption in other European countries is much higher. People in Singapore eat twice as many. Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 17 Switzerland in figures Imprint

SUSANNE WENGER At a rally protesting against anti-Covid measures in September 2021, a demonstrator made a Nazi salute – right in the middle of Berne’s old town. The public prosecutor’s office consequently issued the demonstrator with a penalty order for improper behaviour. However, the man successfully contested the notice. There was no legal basis for a conviction, a local court ruled. A neo-Nazi who made the same salute in 2010 on Rütli Meadow in the canton of Uri also ended up being acquitted. The Federal Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the man had been expressing his own convictions among like-minded people, and that this was not a criminal offence. Had he been making the salute to spread Nazi ideology on the other hand, he would have been punished under Swiss anti-racism laws. These examples show that Switzerland has a certain tolerance threshold when it comes to making Nazi symbols and gestures. Nazi salutes, swastikas, etc. are only banned when used for propaganda purposes. Political efforts to scrap this distinction have been ongoing since 2003. Majorities in the Federal Council and parliament have so far judged freedom of expression to be more important, but the perception seems to be shifting now. Three motions on the issue have been submitted in parliament – one from the centre right and two from the left. A spate of incidents during the pandemic Aargau National Councillor for The Centre, Marianne Binder, set the ball rolling in winter. Binder wants a complete ban on Nazi gestures, flags and symbols, both in the real world and online. Explaining her motion, she said, “Anti-Semitic incidents have increased and took on a new dimension during the pandemic.” The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG) and the Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism (GRA) confirm this. According to their Report on Anti-Semitism, 2021 saw a proliferation of anti-Semitic incidents in Switzerland. There were 806 reports of online anti-Semitic content including anti-Semitic conspiracy theories – a more than 60 per cent increase on the previous year. There were 53 real-world anti-Semitic incidents, which included verbal abuse, public statements and offensive graffiti on synagogues. Anti-vaccine protesters wore stars of David inscribed with the word “unvaccinated”. And in a Zurich suburb, they graffitied “Impfen [vaccination] macht frei” – a play on words on the infamous gate at Auschwitz – next to a swastika. People argue that the protesters need not have had anti-Semitic motives, says Binder. “You can plead stupidity, but how blind to history can you be?” she asks, adding that it constitutes an intolerable trivialisation of the Holocaust. “Hurtful and bewildering” Binder deliberately restricted the motion to focusing on symbols and gestures related to Nazism and the Holocaust, whereas previous motions had targeted symbols and gestures encouraging racism and violence in general. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to list every single possible infraction. But Nazi symbols and salutes are unambiguous. “They certainly do not come under free- “The Federal Council is well aware of the increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Switzerland.” Karin Keller-Sutter, Justice Minister “Nazi symbols and salutes are unambiguous. They certainly do not come under freedom of expression.” Marianne Binder, National Councillor for The Centre Growing calls to ban Nazi symbols and salutes Displaying a Nazi symbol or making a Nazi salute in public is not always to commit a crime in Switzerland. A number of parliamentary motions – and the Council of the Swiss Abroad – now want zero tolerance. Initially hesitant, the government is now looking into the matter. Swiss Review / July 2022 / No.3 18 Society