Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thoughts on immigration vote

voteposterA few weeks have passed since the February 9 vote to reintroduce immigration quotas. I live in a largely conservative German-speaking canton, where 51.1% of voters approved the Swiss People's Party's initiative.

How do I feel about it?

I am glad that my country has exercised its sovereignty as well as its democracy, while standing up to Brussels. We are not a colony of the EU.

Secondly, we haven't voted to end immigration. We have voted to end mass immigration without controls. Every sovereign nation has the right to control the influx of newcomers, as does the USA and Canada. Even Liechtenstein, which is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) was able to negotiate quotas with the EU. Switzerland as a non-EEA member, should have the right to do the same.

I am quite confident that things will pan out. The cabinet and parliament have three years to come up with a detailed plan. The facts are: one quarter of Switzerland's eight million inhabitants are foreign; there is 3.5% unemployment; and we need foreigners to keep the economy going. In typical Swiss calmness, pros and cons will be weighed and a reasonable solution will fe found. After all, it was the German Swiss who founded Switzerland.

I found the following comment on an article about the subject worthy of consideration:

"For the most part, the Swiss gripe is not about poor, distant immigrants but about rich neighbors driving up house prices and clogging up motorways."

2 comments:

  1. Good points on a touchy subject. I would add that Switzerland has welcomed many refugees from war-torn countries. Love the Comment about the uber-rich neighbors being the real problem!

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  2. "The Swiss gripe is not about the poor, distant neighbors..." ?????? The Swiss constant drive to appear perfect and welcoming masks the reality of a society deeply resistant to anyone or anything that looks or thinks different than they do - unless of course they do the menial jobs that the Swiss do not want to do in a country with virtually no unemployment. Clogging up motorways should be no problem for a Party that will simply build more regardless of the environmental impact. There has always been a deep divide between the haves and the have - nots in Switzerland ( Und Vas Fur Unser? en 1970's). I wish the Swiss would just come out and say what they feel instead of constantly masking their deep dislike for diversity with comments such as this one. I'm buoyed by the fact that 51% is not much of a majority.

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