[Photo of ABBA’s “Money money money”: from hitparade.ch]
Even if the title is the same as the successful song by ABBA, this story is just a boring “black and white” matter of Swiss francs, bills and burocracy.
Due to the fact that Switzerland is the country of all welfare records, including the highest prices of the world, a lot of people living near the border prefer to buy stuff in Germany.
Some weeks ago we went to Germany to buy some tyres. Coming back, with the tyres proudly making themselves visible from the trunk, we were stopped by the severe customs officer.
Having bought these tyres in Amazon with delivery in Germany, we did not have any receipt. By the way, for some ununderstandable rules, the tyres shall always be declared and the relevant 7.7% Swiss VAT shall be paid! (Apparently, also tyres which are lying in the trunk shall be considered as a single piece with the car, and therefore their VAT shall be paid).
How did the custom officer calculate the VAT? Basing his figures just on my verbal declaration of the possible price of the tyres!
Price and rigorous VAT calculation starting from a verbal supposed price, but the relevant receipt given to me as bumptious bill with Swiss flag and four languages to say “Swiss Confederation”.
Very vague about the rules, but very precise when it goes to money!
Should the famous ABBA song eventually be proposed as new national anthem of the Confederation?
From left: The flags of Canton Argovia, Switzerland and municipality of Ehrendingen.
16 years, 2 months and 22 days!
After having been in Switzerland for 16 years, 2 months and 22 days, I (and my family) have achieved the requirements to start the procedures and get the white crossed passport!
The Swiss law requires a residence of minimum 12 years in the Confederation, 5 years in the same Canton and 3 in the same municipality to be able to apply.
Having moved to the municipality of Ehrendingen 3 years ago, we just completed the last missing milestone last Friday!
And so we started our “Swissinisation” or, as they say here, our “Einbürgerung”.
In the Confederation, there is a website from the Administration clearly explaining all the needed actions for this process.
The process of becoming Swiss in the Confederation has, of course, a typical aspect. The key word is “naturalisation” (Einbürgerung): terms like “passport” or “citizenship” are never mentioned.
Maybe it’s more elegant like this…
Now let’s trust the Swiss administrative efficiency for all the further steps of this long procedure!
In these days all the world is astonishingly speaking of the referendum result which defined the (regretted) decision for UK to leave the European Union.
Of course the efficient and practical Switzerland could not just stay still and watch.
Just few hours after the referendum results were clear, the Confederation Foreign Ministry instituted a phone hotline 24/7, 7 days a week, to give information to worried citizens and businessmen. This is the meaningful phone number: 0800 24 7 365.
However the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs stated:
Although the electorate of the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, current regulations regarding Swiss citizens and companies remain applicable for the time being and nothing will change immediately.
No chance for surprises in Switzerland! Everything is explained! Everything is rational! Everything is citizen friendly! And this time is good like this!
Photo from: investorsfreshnews.com
Photo from: www.news18.com
Euro 2016. Football (soccer for the American friends) European championship.
Last match of group A: France-Switzerland 0-0. Switzerland??
8 of the 11 players (plus the coach) were not really Swiss, apart from the fact that all of them have the red passport with the white cross!
This is strange. Especially considering the ironies, “comments”, critics which are the daily bread of the Swiss when speaking of foreigners.
So, dear Confederates, please thank your Gods that the rules allow you to play with such “multicultural” national team.
At least it is clear: foreigners play better than real Swiss!
Let me run for it!
Where the hell?
Of course in Switzerland!
According to a global survey by the bank and finance giant HSBC, Switzerland is the most wanted location for expats (http://goo.gl/ofIMqJ)!
The place where an expact can have the best balanced lifestyle.
The survey report presents the Confederation like this:
“Money in the mountains: high earnings plus the great outdoors make Switzerland the top destination for expats”.
I could now start praising Switzerland, but I will not do it.
Not to be too negative, but just because here everything is really working very well.
Coming from Italy long time (13 years) ago, I really enjoy living here.
However, when you have been living for a long time in a country, you can also detect some…less positive aspects. Therefore I will warn you on the (very few) items which got very low scores in HSBC survey. You will need to know them if you’d ever decide to come here for living. If just for holidays, please look only at the nice things!
Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, although ranking overall first, Switzerland is the last one of the list (!) when it comes to making friends, especially local friends, and getting a satisfactory social life.
But don’t be too worried. There is another statistics by Wikipedia (http://goo.gl/KqOqhF) where Switzerland is ranking very high: the countries with foreign born-population!
That’s why you can be sure you will find a lot of foreigners and expats in Switzerland. If you are an expat in Switzerland, my dear Reader, become friend with them and get together for some social events, to help Switzerland in next year’s HSBC survey!