Switzerland, a paradise for the employment of young frontier workers

More than 50,000 young French people cross the border to take advantage of high Swiss wages while paying more moderate rents in France. Testimonials.

They go back and forth every day, without looking back. Sophie lives in Haute-Savoie in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois but works in Geneva. To travel the 8 kilometers between the two cities, it sometimes takes an hour or two because of traffic jams. Every morning, an army of French bumpers rushes to Switzerland. Every year, more and more people are building their professional lives across the border. At the end of 2012, half of the 264,000 foreigners working in Switzerland are French. Among them, 50,200 young people from 20 to 29 years old.

Daily trips for dream pay

From the balcony of their apartment in Saint-Julien, Sophie and her companion have a view of Geneva. Working just a few miles apart, their wages are a big difference. If both are osteopaths, Sophie earns 5500 net euros per month when her friend only touches 2000 in France. This situation is described as “completely incoherent, hallucinating”. Bored, his friend wanted to make his place in the sun too: he was hired in Switzerland and starts next week.

In Saint-Julien, a third of the inhabitants are exported to the country of chocolate and find it “strange to work in France”. Good pay on one side and cheaper rents on the other, the purchasing power is only better. Young people have seen their parents work for years and are following the movement once on the job market. “Once the diploma is in your pocket, you look directly in Switzerland,” says Matthias. Every day, this planning engineer takes his car and two trains to get to work. A largely profitable route: at the post and equivalent hours, it pockets 1500 euros more than in France. So he has already bought his own apartment in France at only 26 years old. “I repay 850 euros a month,” he explains. With a French salary, I could never have owned so quickly.

Health insurance, “border special”, only cost them a hundred euros per month. For the time being. In 2014, the plan could change and health coverage to 8% of their golden income, which would amount to 440 euros monthly for Sophie. The young woman has already studied the problem. “At worst, we are domiciled in Switzerland. The shot of the fictional installation is very simple. Quiet.

“The Swiss do not want to get their hands dirty”

But on the other side of the border, the French are not popular. Although it is only 5%, the unemployment rate in Geneva is the worst in the country. “The Swiss think that they are stealing their jobs and clogging their roads,” says Matthias. We are their immigrants: those responsible for all the evils.

No scruples for these young French people who consider themselves to be cheap and voluntary labor. “The French do the jobs that the Swiss do not want to do as secretary or cashier,” continues Matthias. A few years ago, Sophie was a waitress in a Swiss bar, paid 17 euros per hour. almost twice the French hourly Smic. “Here it is very poorly paid! attests yet, Sophie. Nobody would want to do it. His current employer came to recruit his school in Lyon. He wanted young people ready to work evenings and weekends, not like young Swiss “too attached to their comfort”.

Same story with Frédéric*, a former employee of the Geneva Golf Club, who denounces even a stratification of posts by nationality. “The locals do not want to get their hands dirty. They occupy the top positions, the French have intermediaries: waiters, bartenders, hotel masters. And in the shadows, the plunge or the household, it is the Portuguese, the Spaniards. On the construction sites, Albanians and Kosovars “. We must keep up the pressure: in Switzerland, an “incompatibility of mood” with the boss can be worth a dismissal. But all just such a salary, which allows them to build then dream villas in their native country. “It’s simple: everyone who wants to be a proprietor goes to Switzerland,” Frédéric concludes.

Boomerang effect: the Swiss settle in France

Opportunism works in both directions. The French enjoy opulent salaries and the Swiss of France at bargain prices. “In the car parks of supermarkets and shopping centers, there are plenty of Swiss matriculation plates,” said Matthias. In addition to food shopping, some come to settle in France, where rents are 30 to 40% lower than Geneva according to Matthias.

As a result, real estate pressure is also crossing the border. Saint-Julien may be a dormitory town without a single bar, Sophie and her boyfriend pay 850 euros per month for 35 square meters. They do not plan to move to Switzerland, where “there is nothing below 1600 euros”. She just wonders “how to do the young French people who live and work here”. Frederic could answer him easily: he still lives with his parents.

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Definitions of ecological debt


The debt consolidation is a sum of money due to a creditor- look what i found. In simple terms, the creditor is the one who lends the borrowed capital. For natural capital, the creditor is, therefore, the Earth, or the biosphere or nature, whatever the name. Hence an ecological debt of humans towards the Earth. The fact for example of fishing a species of fish more than what allows its renewal is a discovery vis-à-vis the wealth of the sea. This discovery, it is normally obliged to pay, for example by setting a moratorium on fishing, otherwise, our contemporaries and successors will be impoverished. It’s as if we had burned our house … more heritage possible!

One can always refuse to return the money to the financial oligarchy that lives “to the detriment of the people”. This is not the case with the ecological debt: the non-renewable resources lent by the biosphere have been definitively squandered by people living in the West. Indeed, humanity cannot make the barrels of oil, the tons of coal or the possibilities of natural recycling of CO 2 that allow the current standard of living of “honest people”. This is why the austerity cure that will go through the human species will be much more terrible than in a financial tsunami where we can refinance the economy by rotating the billboard (new credits).

Each year, the New Economics Foundation calculates the date at which humanity’s consumption of resources exceeds the planet’s capacity for renewal.

Beyond that date, we are in a state of exhaustion of reserves. This anniversary date has been dubbed ” Ecological Debt Day” or ” Overshoot Day “. In 1987, humanity was in the red on December 19th. In 1995, this date was November 21st. During the year 2008, humanity turned to the dark side on October 9, and September 27 in 2011. This date occurs each year earlier and earlier, which means that resources available for one year are consumed faster. We are living ecologically in the open now. By living beyond our means, we deprive millions of people around the world of the opportunity to sustainably meet their needs.

Historically, the concept of ecological debt was conceived in the 1980s as a counterpart to the financial debt of Latin American countries: we owe you dollars but you rich country, you owe us the hole in the ozone layer. More recently, it has been estimated that all greenhouse gas emissions already made by developed countries should be accounted for in international climate negotiations to restore more justice to future emissions. But at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio in 1992, the year 1990 was “zero year”: this meant that no rebuilding of the world’s fuel reserves would be done. fossils looted before. With a stroke of the pen, the ecological debt of rich countries was erased. In any case, it is impossible to repay this debt by allowing poor countries to emit much more CO 2 in the future. The underdeveloped countries cannot reproduce the same error as the West since there would be certainty of a climate runaway.


Ecological debt is not a piece of paper that could be repaid with other pieces of paper. The ecological debt is different from a financial debt, it is concrete, it is the weakening of our natural capital. This loss is irremediable when it comes to non-renewable resources such as oil, gas, or uranium. It will be very painful to repay when the climate system is out of order. There is nothing cheerful about it, but as long as the leaders make people believe that “tomorrow will be better”, with a little more economic growth, the situation will only get worse. If there is no desired and shared decline, there will be economic depression experienced by the excluded.

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