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Annex II: calendar of main economic events.

2000

July

The Confederation declares its readiness to negotiate savings taxation and Customs fraud with the EU.

The Post Office is allowed by the government to increase the price of parcels in 2001, but not that of letters.

September

The Federal Council proposes to introduce an insurance system for maternity leave, to be paid by the employer.

The Federal Council issues a second revision of the draft law of the health insurance system (LAMal).

December

Four licenses for mobile UMTS communications are auctioned, collecting CHF 205 million, 5 million above the starting price.

The Parliament approves the electricity market reform that provides for a step-by-step liberalisation of the market that should end in six years.

The Confederation approves the budget for 2001 that aims at a zero deficit. The projection for the general government balance is a deficit of 1/4 per cent of GDP.

2001

January

The new tax on lorries negotiated with the EU is introduced.

The Post Office announces a restructuring plan that will suppress one out of every four offices.

The new program to reduce [CO.sub.2] emissions, based on voluntary measures, is launched by the government.

The new personnel law (Lpers) is implemented by the railway company (CFF) and the postal services (La Poste).

February

The Confederation accounts for 2000 are published, showing a larger-than-expected surplus of CHF 4.5 billion.

The Federal Council proposes a tax cut amounting to CHF 1.3 billion for households and for stamp duty on securities transactions.

March

The SNB lowers its reference interest rate band by 25 basis points to 2.75-3.75 per cent.

May

The electricity reform law will be challenged by referendum, which will take place during 2002.

The Federal Council declares its readiness to negotiate the entrance in the Schengen space of the European Union.

June

The Council of States approves the referendum that will decide on the entrance of Switzerland in the United Nations. It should take place in March 2002.

July

The Zurich stock market migrates to London by joining Virt-X, a new trading system that also quotes large European blue chips.

September

In a coordinated action with the European Central Bank (ECB) and the US Federal Reserve after the II September attacks, the SNB lowers interest rates by 0.5 percentage points to 2.75 per cent. Following an appreciation of the Swiss franc, the bank reduces rates a further half a point to 2.25 per cent.

Following financial problems, Swissair decides to merge with Crossair to create Swiss Air Lines. UBS and Credit Swiss provide a loan of CHF 1 billion to save Swissair from bankruptcy.

The National Council decides to allocate the revenue of the SNB on gold sales to the AVS, cantons and solidarity fund.

The canton of Vaud rejects by referendum the privatisation of a stake of its cantonal bank, which would have reduced the public stake to 33 per cent.

The National Council modifies the Federal Council draft tax reform and proposes tax cuts amounting to CHF 2.2 billion, including tax rebates for childcare and the exclusion of businesses and pension funds from the payment of the stamp duty tax.

October

Swissair is bankrupt. A new company created with the assets of Swisscom and Crossair (Crossair Plus) receives CHF 1.4 billion of public funds, and further help from a pool of private companies. The public sector will have 38 per cent of the capital of the new company.

The Federal Council will not privatise more of Swisscom.

November

Roche is condemned by the EU competition authorities to pay a sanction of CHF 675 million for participating in a vitamin cartel in Europe during the period 1989-99.

A draft reform of the cartel law that introduces sanctions for anti-competitive behaviour and incentives for denouncing cartels is submitted to the Parliament.

The Federal Council proposes the draft law (RPT) reforming spending assignments and financial transfers between the cantons and the Confederation.

December

The new budgetary rule ("frein a l'endettement") is approved by referendum. It will enter into force at the beginning of 2003.

The reference LIBOR interest rates is reduced to 1.75 per cent. The SNB updates its inflation projection.

The National Council approves a reform of the funding of the unemployment insurance system that includes a reduction of the maximum duration of benefits from 520 to 400 days.

The National Council approves the 4th revision of the invalidity insurance law.

The Belgian Parliament approves the bilateral agreements of the EU with Switzerland, paving the way to its implementation during the first half of 2002.

The Confederation approves its budget for 2002 that includes a deficit target of CHF 294 million. Spending priorities are training, health, justice and police. The federal government deficit is estimated to be 1/4 per cent of GDP, consistent with the provisions of the "Budget Objective 2001".

2002

February

In the context of the preparation of the 2003 budget, the Federal Council announces that the new debt containment rule would require the federal budget to be in a surplus of CHF 100 million in 2003.

March

The Federation of Swiss doctors adopts TarMed, a uniform remuneration system for doctors throughout the country.

The Federal Office for Energy (OFEN) releases the regulation (ordonnance) of the electricity market.

The Parliament approves the new revision of the unemployment insurance bill.

In its quarterly meeting, the SNB leaves unchanged its key interest rate.
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Publication:OECD Economic Surveys - Switzerland
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EXSI
Date:May 1, 2002
Words:901
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