FFE Magazine

Swiss majority wants immigration controlled

by FFE EU News staff

In a recent poll, 52% of voters said they support the Swiss People’s Party’s (SVP) ‘Stop Mass Immigration’ proposal.

SVP said that immigration rules in Switzerland has been out of control and has resulted in decreasing job opportunities for local workers, hiking real estate prices and burdening of the health and education systems.

Both the government and parliament have rejected the proposal, but under the Swiss system of direct democracy, the voters may just turn the tide.

Around 1.9 million of the total 8 million of Switzerland’s population are non-Swiss – 3.3% more than the figures in 2012. Majority of immigrants come from Portugal, Kosovo, Germany, Italy and France. Switzerland is not part of the European Union but has tight economic ties with EU member-states.

There is fear that the proposal may clash with an earlier agreement with Brussels on immigration rules.

The proposal covers cross-border workers or people who live in neighbouring countries but work in Switzerland. The proposal also calls for the constitution to clearly define the benefit of immigration to the country’s economy and to guarantee that the Swiss will still have priority in the labour market.

As for immigrants, the proposal adds they must have a job offer, sufficient financial resources and must be willing to integrate into Swiss society. Quotas also apply to refugees.

Another vote on a separate but similar proposal by campaigners is set by 2015.

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