Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Swiss People's Party has launched a referendum campaign to limit immigration into the country. It must collect 100,000 signatures within the next 18 months for the referendum to be held. If passed, the measure would impose quotas on the number of foreigners allowed to enter the country each year, including asylum-seekers. Swiss citizens would be given preference in job applications. Economic migrants would have to show that they had jobs waiting for them and had sufficient means to be able to support themselves.

Any treaties Switzerland has signed that would conflict with these goals, including the freedom of movement accord with the EU, would have to be renegotiated. According to the Swiss People's Party, the Swiss population has grown by 380,000 within the last five years because of immigration.

The ecological organisation Ecopop also has a referendum campaign underway that seeks to impose a limit of 0.2% population growth due to immigration each year and to force the Swiss government to devote 10% of its foreign aid to measures to limit population growth outside of Switzerland.


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