Switzerland: thousands of people demonstrate in front of the Federal Palace in favor of purchasing power

Several thousand people demonstrated on Saturday in Switzerland in the capital at the call of unions and left-wing parties, to demand an increase in wages and pensions, while The federal elections take place from October 22.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 people went to Bern, according to the organizers united within the “Demonstration for Purchasing Power” alliance, to march through the streets of the city center before going to the Federal Palace, seat of government and Parliament.

The unions, as well as the Socialist Party and the Greens, had called on the population to demonstrate to “demand more wages and better pensions”. “Today’s big demonstration sends a clear and clear signal: in a rich country like Switzerland, there is enough money for everyone to live well,” they said in a press release.

The organizers also called on the authorities to quickly take measures to reduce health insurance contributions – called health premiums – which amount on average to several hundred euros each month and which have increased significantly in recent years.

“To save banks, we easily find billions. Meanwhile, should the population tighten their belts? It cannot continue like this,” said the Swiss Trade Union Union (USS), which has 20 affiliated unions.

This national demonstration comes one month before the parliamentary elections of October 22. After immigration and the climate, purchasing power has established itself in the countryside, while electricity prices are also taking off, with an expected average increase of 18% in 2024.

“There is this national demonstration, but throughout the fall there will be other mobilizations,” ured Vania Alleva, president of the Unia union and vice-president of the USS, public radio RTS.

“It’s important to give a clear signal. Give a clear signal in view of the fall salary negotiations, but also give a clear signal to politics because the increase in health insurance premiums and rents is becoming really heavy and there are more and more people who are unable to make ends meet,” she said.

In recent weeks, several reports in the Swiss media have noted an increase in people requesting help from Caritas solidarity grocery stores.

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