Switzerland: Full containment would cost 29 billion a month – Economy

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A complete containment of the population in Switzerland, as is particularly the case in Italy, would have serious economic consequences, warned Wednesday the think tank Avenir Suisse. The latter estimated the cost of such a measure at nearly 29 billion francs per month.

Over a year, these costs represent more than half the value of the products and services sold in Switzerland, the think tank said in an analysis.

“A complete shutdown would amount to an almost complete shutdown of the economy” and would have serious consequences, said Avenir Suisse. Conversely, the authorities must think about how to make the economy turn during this difficult period, while respecting the health measures decreed to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Call for flexibility

Avenir Suisse thus calls on companies to be more flexible in terms of work, in particular to quickly mobilize additional labor when needed. Relaxation of the rules on rest time or night work would thus fill the stalls of the stores while avoiding the employees too much contact with customers.

Allowing store openings seven days a week would also help avoid peak traffic, added the think tank experts.

On Monday, the president of the Unia union, Vania Alleva, had demanded, in an interview with the newspaper Blick, that the Swiss economy be brought to a complete halt during the coronavirus pandemic. Echoing him, the president of the Swiss employers’ union, Valentin Vogt, had warned of the dramatic consequences of a total blockage. “We have to maintain functional distribution chains,” he insisted.

100 billion needed

While many economists expect Switzerland to plunge into recession this year, estimates of the economic damage of the Covid-19 follow one another.

Hans Gersbach and Jan-Egbert Sturm, two economics professors from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (EPFZ), recently considered it necessary to create a “Swiss fund” endowed with 100 billion francs and intended to avoid a dysfunction of the economic system, which would result in a sharp destruction of value and a wave of bankruptcies.
(ats / nxp)

Created: 25.03.2020, 14h09

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