In an interview Saturday with the local media, Martullo-Blocher argued that workers from the EU “are taking the place of the Swiss” in the job market.
“And the situation is deteriorating even more because of the coronavirus pandemic”, she noted.
Martullo-Blocher is the daughter of Christoph Blocher, a major figure in the SVP — a right-wing party whose objective is to curb immigration to Switzerland.
She also said in the interview that numerous Swiss companies are managed by people who come to Switzerland from the EU nations.
“Some of them don’t know our business environment and don't have the same interests for Switzerland as we, the Swiss business leaders, do”, she said.
Numerous Swiss companies, including Nestlé, Novartis, and Roche, are managed by foreigners.
Martullo-Blocher spoke to the media just weeks ahead of a controversial SVP referendum to be held on September 27th.
The initiative calls for Switzerland to be able to regulate its immigration autonomously, and not based on treaties with the European Union.
Therefore, the Free Movement Agreement with the EU and EFTA should be re-negotiated, she said.
The agreement allows people from the EU and EFTA nations to work in Switzerland.
However, another SVP politician, Marco Chiesa from the canton of Ticino, told Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper that job preferences should be given not to the ‘Swiss’ as such, but to anyone who lives in Switzerland.
He added that he is in favour of immigration that benefits Switzerland, as the country always needs foreign specialists.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, about 1.4 million citizens of EU member states currently work in Switzerland. The country's total population 8.5 million.
Additionally, a total of 332,177 cross-border workers from France, Italy, Germany and Austria are employed in Switzerland.