Swiss citizens reject newest immigration proposals

Citizens of Switzerland have voted to reject further immigration curbs and have also turned down a proposal that would have abolished tax privileges for wealthy foreigners.

Swiss nationals took to the polls yesterday to vote on strict mass immigration quotas, termed ‘Ecopop’, which were significantly harsher than quotas that were already introduced for EU immigrants back in February.

Had they been passed, annual immigration would have been limited to just 0.2 per cent of the country’s permanent resident population (capping immigration at around 16,000 people per year); an outcome that all of Switzerland’s major political parties were against.

According to projections made yesterday by Swiss television channel SRF, voters turned down the Ecopop initiative by 74 per cent to 26 per cent, while another proposal which would have scrapped the longstanding system of tax privileges for foreign millionaires who live but do not work in the country looked set to be rejected by around 60 per cent of voters.

It is estimated that approximately a quarter of Switzerland’s 8.1 million residents aren’t citizens. The country’s population boomed in the 1990s after Switzerland agreed to adopt the EU’s freedom of movement policy even though the country isn’t actually part of the EU. It was for this reason that Swiss nationals did vote to impose restrictions of EU immigration earlier this year.

Article published 1st December 2014