The news to the Sunday press


Sunday press

Migration due to Russian sanctions, Ukrainian supermarkets in a state of emergency and Swiss cheese in court

The finance director of the canton of Zug criticizes the implementation of the Russia sanctions. It leads to companies withdrawing from Switzerland. Meanwhile, Ukraine is in a state of emergency, with supermarkets working under the most extreme conditions. And: Emmental goes before the EU court – the news to the Sunday press.

Heinz Tännler, Finance Director of the Canton of Zug, speaks for the first time about the consequences of the Russia sanctions in an interview with the SonntagsBlick newspaper. “We have various cases of institutions or companies that are not directly on the sanctions list but are in contact with a sanctioned person and ask us for help because they want to continue working but are blocked,” says Tännler.

Heinz Tännler finds the implementation of the Russia sanctions problematic.

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He criticizes the prevailing practice of implementing the measures: “Sometimes I notice clumsy implementation of the sanctions, to put it mildly. We report this to Seco first, which triggers a lengthy process.

By the time a decision is made after three or four weeks, a company can already be hanging on the ropes. And when Seco finally issues a declaration of no objection, which often happens, the banks usually don’t go along with it, out of anticipatory obedience to the USA and the EU.”

Ultimately, it means: “I can’t make the payments, I have to restructure and say goodbye to Switzerland.” When asked whether this had already happened, the SVP politician replied: “It happened in several cases. For reasons of data protection, I cannot say exactly how many there are. But if a company moves away, it can affect several hundred jobs.”

He calls for a Swiss-style sanctions policy from the federal government: “What we are asking for are Swiss-style sanctions, with a Swiss finish, so to speak. The way things are going now, Switzerland is jeopardizing its rule of law.” The government had already been in contact “in individual cases”. “But the Federal Council must fundamentally adapt its sanctions policy. The most important thing is that we must not jeopardize our rule of law, one of Switzerland’s most important virtues.”

Ukrainian supermarkets are defying the war

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, retailers are continuing to operate under extreme conditions. “The war affects almost all aspects of our business,” says Ivan Palchewski from the Fozzy Group to “NZZ am Sonntag”. This is comparable to Migros and is one of the largest supermarket chains in the country.

“Courage is a Ukrainian brand” is written here on this poster in the middle of a shopping mile in Kyiv.

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After the Russian invasion, the logistics chain along the front line had to be redrawn. “We have defined new, safe routes that avoid roads that were damaged or attacked by the Russians,” says Palchewski. “In view of the ongoing war, we unfortunately still cannot speak of everyday life or normality,” writes the German wholesale group Metro, which operates 26 stores in Ukraine but only had 21 in operation recently. “We assess every day with the local teams which markets are open and whether work can be done.”

In the Ukraine, retailers have gained a new self-image. This can also be observed in Switzerland. According to marketing expert Stefan Vogler, supermarkets are no longer just simple retailers, but basic suppliers and providers of identity. Today’s generation of consumers is shaped over the years by the rapid succession of crises that we are currently experiencing. Today, dependability and community service would count for more than cheap shopping.

Emmental complains to “foreign judges”

Speaking of shopping: The Emmental variety organization wants real Swiss Emmental cheese to be better protected against imitations abroad, reports the NZZ. For this, the cheese manufacturer goes to the European Court of Justice (EuG). This is part of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Emmental wants to better protect its cheese.

Emmental wants to better protect its cheese.

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The reason for the lawsuit: The Office of the European Union for Intellectual Property had decided that Emmental merely referred to a type of cheese – the hard cheese with the holes, so to speak – and not the geographical origin of a specific product. According to Alfred Rufer from the Emmental variety organization, the negotiations before the European judges should begin in September.