Europe and the Cost of Living: Switzerland | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 13.02.2008
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


Europe and the Cost of Living: Switzerland

As fears of a recession circle the globe, DW-WORLD.DE asked people from seven European countries about their impressions of the cost of living. The series continues in Switzerland.

A person covered with the European flag stands at the green border between France and Switzerland near Vallorbe in the canton of Jura, 21 April 2005. Swiss people will vote on the June 5 2005 referendum, whether they want to accept the bilateral treaty between Switzerland and the European Union, which among other things includes the free border crossing of persons and would give Swiss authorities access to the transeuropean database ISIS for tracing criminals. This part of the treaty is called the Schengen clause.

Taxes are lower in Switzerland than in the EU

Marcel lives in Zurich and works as a senior claims handler. He lives with his partner in an 80-square-meter (860-square-feet) apartment 10 minutes by tram from the center of the city.

Monthly income: 12,000 Swiss francs (7,428 euros, $10,980)

Rent: 1,550 Swiss francs per month (959 euros, $1,418)

Monthly utilities: 180 Swiss francs (111.37 euros, $164.65)

Bus / metro ticket: 2.50 Swiss francs (1.55 euros, $2.29)

One liter milk: 1.50 Swiss francs (0.92 euros, $1.97)

Loaf of bread: 1.30 Swiss francs (0.80 euros, $1.88)

Domestic stamp: 0.85 Swiss francs (0.52 euros, $.077)

Movie ticket: 18 Swiss francs (11.13 euros, $16.46)

Have you noticed that things have become more expensive recently?

Yes, gas, but we use the car very rarely. Bank fees also.

To what extent does inflation affect you?

According to the Federal Institute of Statistics, the average inflation was 0.7 percent here in 2007. The forecast for 2008 is 1.5 percent because of the petroleum prices and again because banks will rise interest rates.

How easy is it for you to get by?

Easy because we are DINKies -- double income no kids.

Would an increase in your wages be necessary to make it easier for you to meet you basic needs?

More money is always good, but, at the same time, the tax rate also increases because we have a progressive tax system, not a linear one.

What's your opinion on the European economy?

It's good that we are not part of the EU. Our unemployment rate is much lower than in the rest of Europe and a lot of people are immigrating to Switzerland -- especially Germans -- because the taxes are lower. Value-added tax is some 19 to 21 percent in the EU and 2.4 to 7.6 percent in Switzerland.

Nb. Currency conversion based on 1 Swiss franc = 0.62 euros and $0.91.

DW recommends