• Switzerland edition
 
French workers targeted in Swiss hate campaign
Bigbirdz

French workers targeted in Swiss hate campaign

Published: 30 Apr 2012 10:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Apr 2012 10:17 GMT+02:00

Residents of France who work across the border in Geneva have become the targets of a virulent anti-migrant campaign calling for their houses and cars to be burned.

Some 90,000 foreigners, most of them French, cross the border to work in Geneva, sparking tension in an area with the highest unemployment in Switzerland - 5.3 percent in March, against a national rate of 3.2 percent.

A pamphlet distributed this month outside the Geneva University Hospitals calls for the elimination of "this border scum".

"They are everywhere... in a number that far exceeds the tolerable quota, with their arrogance, their pollution, their contempt, their insolence and their privilege," the pamphlet said.

"Total war is declared," said the tract, which was reprinted by the local Socialist Party in a newsletter expressing alarm over the document's violent nationalism. "Burn their houses, their cars. Border workers, get out."

The hospital said it planned to file charges against the pamphlet's anonymous author.

The labour union that represents employees there defended the practice of hiring cross-border workers, saying Geneva's own education system doesn't train enough nurses.

"We defend all workers, wherever they're from," union secretary Julien Dubouchet Corthay told AFP.

The hospital's 10,172 employees are 48 percent Swiss and 34 percent French, its 2011 records show.

The nursing staff is 56-percent French, but 66 percent of doctors are Swiss against just 11 percent French, and 72 percent of senior executives are Swiss.

Tensions over the large number of foreign workers at the hospital erupted into the open in February, when the director general said the hospital would begin favouring Geneva residents in promotions.

"Out of 165 medical unit managers, 110 are cross-border workers. Some employees who live in Geneva have complained," hospital chief Bernard Gruson told a local newspaper.

"So I've decided to favour a return to equilibrium. That will be my priority for every promotion. It's absolutely not about ostracism, but about my role as boss to arbitrate when people are dissatisfied."

The remarks unleashed a heated debate in Geneva, and fed the rhetoric of local political party the Geneva Citizens Movement, which regularly criticises cross-border workers.

The movement also claims French criminals come to Geneva to steal from residents.

The local Socialist Party has meanwhile called for the creation of a cross-border parliament that would bring together officials from the border districts of Geneva and Vaud with their counterparts in France.

The body would deal with the entire region's housing and employment issues, the Socialist say.

"The Geneva Socialist Party is aware of the enormous distortions in both the employment and housing markets," it said.

"That's why the party is convinced that the France-Vaud-Geneva people must work together to find solutions to their problems, especially by creating appropriate democratic institutions and true tools to fight against underpaying wages."

 

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Kerry bound for Geneva talks on Ukraine crisis
US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva last year. Photo: Pool/AFP

Kerry bound for Geneva talks on Ukraine crisis

US Secretary of State John Kerry left on Wednesday for Geneva for high-stakes talks on Ukraine, armed with the threat of more sanctions against Moscow if diplomacy fails, as tensions on the ground escalated sharply. READ () »

Credit Suisse investment bank woes hurt profits
Credit Suisse offices in Zurich. Photo: Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse investment bank woes hurt profits

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said on Wednesday that its first quarter net profit took a heavy hit as its investment bank reeled from slumping trading in bonds. READ () »

Ski champion announces same-sex marriage
Sylviane Berthod (right in each of the photos) and her partner. Photos: Facebook

Ski champion announces same-sex marriage

Former Swiss alpine ski champion Sylviane Berthod has announced her engagement to marry another woman in a public way — on her Facebook page. READ () »

UK blocks Swiss deal with EU on Croatia
EU headquarters in Brussels. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

UK blocks Swiss deal with EU on Croatia

The UK has scuppered, at least temporarily, an agreement in principle between Bern and Brussels over the free movement of people between Switzerland and Croatia, the Swiss broadcaster RTS says. READ () »

US regulator seeks more Credit Suisse documents
Photo: AFP

US regulator seeks more Credit Suisse documents

A New York regulator probing Credit Suisse's role in enabling tax evasion has demanded a trove of additional documents from the bank, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. READ () »

Ex-footballer Makélélé faces Swiss tax probe
Claude Makélélé in his coaching role last year at Paris Saint Germain. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ex-footballer Makélélé faces Swiss tax probe

Former France midfielder Claude Makélélé is facing a tax probe at home and in Switzerland, a filing showed Tuesday, as reports suggested it could relate to his investments in a Geneva football team. READ () »

Specialist says Swiss eat too much salty cheese
Photo: Switzerland Cheese Marketing

Specialist says Swiss eat too much salty cheese

The Swiss are known for their great love of cheese but a doctor from Lausanne is warning that they need to reduce their consumption of gruyère, emmental and other varieties because of the health risks. READ () »

Ukraine nixes 'internal affairs' talk in Geneva
Photo: UNOG

Ukraine nixes 'internal affairs' talk in Geneva

Ukraine on Tuesday ruled out any discussion of its "internal affairs" at talks this week with Russia, the US and EU, amid spiralling tensions between Kiev and pro-Moscow militants. READ () »

El Nino weather event seen likely: WMO
WMO headquarters in Geneva. Photo (detail): Mark Parsons

El Nino weather event seen likely: WMO

An "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean is likely this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world, the Geneva-based UN weather agency warned on Tuesday. READ () »

Strong franc hits Nestlé's first quarter sales
Paul Bulcke: maintains 'organic growth' will improve. Photo: AFP

Strong franc hits Nestlé's first quarter sales

Nestlé, the world's leading food industry group, saw its sales slide 5.1 percent in the first quarter from the same period in 2013, the Swiss-based company said on Tuesday, blaming the effect of exchange rates and strength of the franc. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Former industrial zone transforms into Zurich’s trendiest spot
Tech
Swiss Solar Impulse team shows off new fuel-free aircraft
International
Suspect in Liechtenstein bank CEO murder case 'likely dead'
Sponsored Article
Caveman comedy comes to Zurich in English
Society
Innovative building provides refuge for hypersensitive tenants
Tech
VIDEO: Teenage boy sends Swiss army knife into stratosphere
International
Switzerland ranks second in world for social progress: report
National
Pharrell Williams set to perform in first Montreux jazzfest concert
Sport
American wingsuit flyer dies after Bernese Oberland accident
Business & Money
H&M plans hefty Swiss minimum wage for employees by 2015
International
Caterpillar accused by US senator of dodging taxes through 'Swiss plan'
International
Geneva man in Facebook page fight with Italian carmaker Ferrari
Advertisement:
International
Schumacher’s wife pays for 'medical suite' at Swiss family mansion
International
Aborted Swiss airlines take-off injures four at London airport
International
Swiss refuse asylum request from topless protest group founder
Business & Money
British expat former banker to head Swiss finance regulator FINMA
National
Swiss honey contains harmful plastic: TV consumer affairs report
Business & Money
Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe threatens Geneva exit over taxes
Business & Money
World's largest watch fair opens in Basel amid uncertain times
International
'Fergie' credits hikes around Verbier mountains for recent weight loss
Etoiles de Montagne
Sponsored Article
How to summer holiday up a Swiss mountain
Swissbenefits
Sponsored Article
How to avoid Switzerland’s tax haven trap
International
Switzerland's residents are the happiest in the OECD: report
International
Swiss voters support bid to establish lofty minimum wage: poll
National
Switzerland's largest cities set to back regulated 'cannabis clubs'
Business & Money
Franc surges against other currencies on rising Ukraine concerns
Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,091
jobs available