• Switzerland's news in English

Swiss conservatives split by immigration campaign

8 Aug 2011, 13:26

Published: 08 Aug 2011 17:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Aug 2011 13:26 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

An anti-immigration poster campaign has caused a split in the conservative SVP party, with three senior politicians distancing themselves from the posters.

The “Masseneinwanderung stoppen“ initiative, calling for members of the public to sign a petition supporting a halt to mass immigration, was launched by the party just before Swiss National Day on August 1st.

 Petition flyers were posted in letterboxes and posters showing black feet marching on the red and white Swiss flag are prominently displayed in railway stations with the slogan: “Stop mass immigration“ (Masseneinwanderung stoppen).

The collection of signatures in support of the campaign has begun, with an 18-month deadline to collect 100,000 names needed to spark a nationwide referendum on the issue.

The main reason for the supposed loss of control over immigration, according to the SVP flyer, is the “uncontrolled influx from the EU, our open borders and displaced asylum seekers.“

“With the popular initative against mass immigration, we can again decide who comes into our country. That is also beneficial to business," it states on the flyer.

But three SVP politicians, who represent the party's business-friendly wing, strongly disagree.

National Council member Peter Spuhler told SonntagsBlick he won’t sign the petition and called on others to follow suit. Alex Kuprecht, a member of the upper house of parliament fears the move would lead to the termination of the bilateral treaty with the EU. Spuhler said leaving the Schengen open-border area would be "a catastrophe".

The Schengen treaty came into effect in Switzerland in 2008 putting an end to automatic passport control for people travelling between Switzerland and other member states.

Instead of the current freedom of movement laws, the SVP is calling for the reinstatement of quotas and restrictions for foreigners, giving Swiss people priority on the job market.

According to the SVP, the consequences of uncontrolled migration are: overfilled streets and trains, exploding rents and land prices, salaries under pressure, missuse of asylum and an increase in foreign criminality.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2011-08-09 12:23:41 by thejackal
I sincerely hope that this is a minority of swiss people involved in this and for Switzerland's sake, i hope that this movement does not gather momentum. I find the whole thing highly insulting, how are these people allowed to post propaganda in letter boxes and put posters up all over the city ?? The simple fact is that without the "Auslander", there would be no swiss economy ! Take a look at the amount of foreign investment in this country, a high percentage of the companies based here are either American or European who are driving the swiss economy and providing jobs ! The "Auslander" are needed to fill these jobs, take a look at the latest jobless numbers: 2.8% and try to tell me otherwise ?? So it is no fair to say that we are taking the jobs from swiss people. Furthermore, the companies based here require access to people with a higher skill base and a broader skill set than is available to them here in Switzerland. Fair play to the 3 politicians and i hope plenty more follow suit to quash this ridiculous movement which will be detrimental to Switzerland if allowed to succeed.
Today's headlines
Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available