Swiss Voters Reject Strict Immigration Curbs

Plans to cap immigration at just 16,000 people a year have been overwhelmingly rejected by voters in Switzerland.

The “Ecopop” law would have slashed net migration levels by more than 75%, amid concerns that busier towns and cities are damaging the environment and the nation’s idyllic landscape.

One in four people in Switzerland, which has a population of eight million, are foreign nationals.

Supporters of the bill had warned that without immigration curbs, the nation would house 12 million people by 2050.

Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, but its failure to comply with freedom of movement rules would have affected negotiations on other treaties.

Many politicians had branded the initiative as “absolutely absurd” because it would “impoverish the country”.

Two other laws were also rejected during Sunday’s vote. They included plans for the Swiss central bank to significantly boost its gold reserves, and a proposal to scrap special tax breaks for wealthy foreigners.

Switzerland’s democratic system means that a voter can secure a nationwide referendum on popular issues if they can generate enough signatures from supporters.

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30 November 2014 | 10:21 pm – Source: orange.co.uk

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