Protestors demand higher wages in Switzerland
The people of Switzerland are taking to the streets to demand higher wages as inflation ravages the country.
Demonstrators took to the streets of Lucerne, Switzerland, to demand higher wages, Al Mayadeen's correspondent reported on Monday.
According to the correspondent, the protesters believe that inflation in the country increased by more than 5%, and they were demanding that their wages be adjusted to inflation.
It is noteworthy that food prices in Switzerland rose by about 15%.
Swiss social media users took to Twitter, sharing videos and photos from the demonstrations that took place in the streets of Lucerne.
Nouvelle manifestation en ce moment à #Lausanne pour une meilleure indexation des salaires de la fonction publique de l’@EtatdeVaud. Les syndicats dont le @ssp_syndicat ont d’ores et déjà annoncé une nouvelle action le 31 janvier prochain. @RTSinfo pic.twitter.com/ih2fNTyKlK— Yoan Rithner (@YoanRithner) January 23, 2023
The Swiss National Bank announced earlier a loss of 132 billion Swiss francs ($143 billion) for the 2022 fiscal year, citing preliminary data.
This constituted the largest loss in 116 years, and this reflected negatively on the situation in the country, and it is the equivalent of around 18% of the country's forecast GDP of Switzerland, which amounted to 744.5 billion Swiss francs, CNBC reported at the time.
The previous record was 23 billion Swiss francs in 2015. Among the present losses, there were 131 billion francs of foreign currency and 1 billion Swiss francs. After the franc rose, investors flocked to it as a safe haven amid European volatility.
Since June 2022, the Swiss franc has traded above the euro, a level it had only touched before, except briefly in 2015 after it was unpegged from the euro.
Meanwhile, the Swiss National Bank raised in December interest rates for the third time in 2022 to 1% in a bid to combat 3% inflation, which is well below the 10% inflation rate in the eurozone.
Furthermore, the Swiss National Bank was hit in 2022 by losses it endured in its stock and bond portfolio amid the broader market downturn, though it ended up making 400 million francs due to its gold reserves.
This comes after The Financial Times reported in early January that economists warned that the Eurozone economy is set to shrink this year due to high inflation and potential energy shortages.
The economists indicated that the single currency zone was already in recession, with the gross domestic product expected to contract over the whole of next year.
Shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine, the West imposed on Russia packages of severe sanctions. In December, the EU also joined the G7 to set a price cap on Russian oil at $60 per barrel and rolled out its ninth anti-Russia sanctions package.
The restrictions disrupted supply chains worldwide and exacerbated ongoing energy market issues, which in turn led to soaring oil prices.