Switzerland says no more aid for EU job Hunters
by FFE EU News Staff
The Swiss Federal Office for Immigration has just announced that European citizens including those from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway who come to Switzerland for work ‘will have no right to social assistance.’
According to official data, foreigners made up ¼ of the country’s eight million residents in 2013, 3.3% bigger than 2012 figures. Recent immigrants mostly came from Portugal, Germany, Italy and France.
The announcement from the Immigration office came ahead of a referendum to impose quotas on migrating EU citizens that will be put into vote on 9 February. The Swiss People’s Party claims that mass immigration affects the opportunities of local workers, boosts real estate prices and overburdens social services like health, education and transportation.
It also claims that some job hunters from wealthy nations are only migrating to take advantage of the social benefits.
According to official statistics last December, around 250,000 people got social assistance in 2012, 6% higher than 2011. In addition, only 2.2% of Swiss citizens benefited from social aid in 2013 while 3.1% of non-Swiss residents benefited from it.
Switzerland is not part of the European Union but has close ties with the 28-nation bloc.