A new story from Monocle 24: The Globalist


In Zürich, which is where we head now, because here's a statement I never thought I'd read out loud. Switzerland's train network is in trouble. It's over plans to change the national railway into a so called two speed network or to talk trains and delighted to say florent ugly senior associate at forest, the Swiss foreign policy think tank drones meet a very good morning to Florian. How is Zürich this morning? Good morning. Surik is rainy. It has been this week, but trains are running fine. Right. Okay, well of course they're good. So far so good, but that's all set to change. So what's gone wrong with the Swiss train network? It is. So an announcement by the Swiss national railway company, the sbd kind of caught a lot of cities in the French speaking region off guard because there is a supposedly a ten year break in the direct connection between initiative, which is in the western part of Switzerland in the jura region. So and Geneva. So there's no more direct trains. You have to change in Lausanne and it takes half an hour longer. And that's caused a lot of outrage and an official letter of complaint now by signed by at the moment. 7 large cities in the French speaking part amongst them Geneva and initiative. So what's gone wrong here? Because normally we hear of connections being created, not broken. I'm one of the sufferers because I have one of those famous GA so the urban Margie naval I'm this card where you can board any train at any time and so it stands for the entire year. And that actually take this route quite frequently. So I mean, what's happening is basically there is a lot of construction work required in the railway network. And of course, sometimes that leads to break. But brakes, but a ten year break is really exceptional. And the SPB, the train, the railway company tries to sell this by saying, well, but on the other hand, you have more frequent connections to the second largest town in the French speaking part, which is Lausanne. Which these cities acknowledge because it's an important connection for students, but also for economic relations. But I think there is kind of an underlying pattern here. And that is 25% of the Swiss population are French speaking. And they generally tend to have very different political opinions. So you see in many, in many public votes, you see the votes would have gone totally different if the French speaking part were to decide. But because they're only 25%, they usually lose out because the German speaking part is more conservative. And so there is a general tension here. And also a general thing that if the French speaking part were to decide, probably would invest more money in the railway networks. Now we haven't. We have to repair them or upgrade them. And that is to the detriment of this region. So I think this is kind of really playing into this kind of language divide with the French speaking part. Usually being more liberal, more progressive, more eco friendly and the German speaking part a bit more conservative. Florian ugly. Thank you as ever for joining us on the line from Zürich. Here with the globalist on Monica radio. UBS has over 900 investment analysts from over 100 different countries. Over 900 of the sharpest minds and freshest thinkers in the world of finance today. To find out how we can help you. Contact us at UBS dot

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