500 franc tent on Zurich balcony revealed to be political stunt

500 franc tent on Zurich balcony revealed to be political stunt

Last week, the Swiss and expat media jumped on a story about a tent on a balcony in Zurich being advertised as shared housing. Now, it has been revealed that the ad was a publicity stunt by the Young Green Liberals of Zurich, who wanted to highlight the excessive cost of rental properties in Switzerland.

Tent on Zurich balcony meant to protest high rent costs

The ad was for a tent on a Zurich balcony, advertised as a “room with a view of the starry sky.” The story was published in 20 minuten, Tages-Anzeiger, the Local and IamExpat as a genuine news story. Now it is clear that the ad was a fake, put together by the youth wing of the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland.

"We wanted to use the campaign to draw attention to the abuses in the Zurich housing market," said Serap Kahriman from the Young Green Liberals of the city of Zurich. She said that despite the nature of the ad, around 15 people responded to it, which showed “an urgent need for more affordable housing for young people.”

Need for affordable housing in Zurich for young people

Particularly among people at university, the need for new housing is profound, especially in Zurich, which has regularly been named as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. A similar fake story was run earlier this year, with an art student claiming she had lost her apartment and was homeless. The story turned out to be an art project designed to draw attention to the housing crisis in the city.

According to 20 minuten, the stunt by the Young Green Liberals was not random, but was designed to highlight the issue as elections to the local council in Zurich are only two weeks away. Kahriman, who is running for election, said, "The issue of affordable housing is very high on our election program," and that the fact that people were willing to pay 500 Swiss francs a month for a tent shows the need for new housing.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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