Swiss could face new anti-immigration vote

Caroline Bishop
Caroline Bishop - [email protected]
Swiss could face new anti-immigration vote
File photo: Peter Mosimann/Swiss Parliament

A federal government commission has decided not to oppose an initiative from the Association of Ecology and Population (Ecopop) proposing a cap on Switzerland's foreign population growth.


Ecopop's 'Stop Overpopulation' initiative aims to slow the influx of foreigners to Switzerland to 0.2 percent a year. The new initiative could be put to to the vote in just ten months' time, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reports

The organization, which works to preserve natural resources in Switzerland, says overpopulation harms the environment and reduces quality of life.

On Monday the Council of States commission voted against a request by Christian Democratic People's Party Group chairman Urs Schwaller to block the draft proposal, according to Tages Anzeiger.

The result was expected, coming so soon after the February 9th referendum which narrowly passed the Swiss People's Party's 'Against Mass Immigration' initiative to limit immigration from the European Union.

An attempt to block Ecopop's initiative would have been "complicating the game", reports RTS, as it would have led to a further referendum on immigration proposing more flexible quotas.

The government has until this summer to submit a bill implementing the initiative against mass immigration.

A recent government report stated the number of foreigners in Switzerland increased 3.4 percent in 2013 to 1,886,630.


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