As news of the vote to curb immigration from the EU spread far and wide, commentators lined up to decry what many viewed as a show of harmful Swiss insularity. Kenneth Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, didn’t hold back.
So Switzerland wants to be an international banking & UN center but not welcome immigrants. Xenophobia prevails. http://t.co/rDhVgoZSoT— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) February 10, 2014
Helpfully, some tweeters deployed maps and graphs to tease out some of the more fascinating details.
Martin Schulz, President of the European parliament, urged restraint.
Treaties must be abided. #Switzerland enjoys advantages of international market, freedom of movement crucial. Need calm rational reactions.— Martin Schulz (@MartinSchulz) February 9, 2014
Nein Quarterly’s editor took a blunter approach.
Welcome to Switzerland. Sorry, we're closed.— Nein. (@NeinQuarterly) February 9, 2014
Travel writer Diccon Bewes asked one of the more pertinent questions.
British Conservative MP Mark Pritchard sided with the victors.
Well done Switzerland. Now expect bullying, intimidation, and threats from Brussels. But hold your ground. You choose your nation's destiny— Mark Pritchard (@MPritchardMP) February 10, 2014
And French National Front leader Marine Le Pen was predictably thrilled, as she praised Swiss moves towards immigration control as a “national priority”.
Référendum Suisse : Maîtrise de l'immigration et priorité nationale: le programme du Front ! MLP http://t.co/j0WNmlfxDy— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) February 10, 2014
But European Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde hinted at the acrimony ahead.
One Swiss journalist summed up the feelings of many in the No camp when he claimed to have spotted a new item for sale in Ikea’s Swiss stores.