Geneva news roundup: Could foreign nationals get the right to vote?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Geneva news roundup: Could foreign nationals get the right to vote?
Make sure to look both ways when crossing a street in Geneva. Photo: Pixabay

Extending political rights to foreigners and being more careful when crossing the street — read this and other news from Switzerland's second-largest city Geneva.


Geneva wants to extend foreigners' political rights 

During its session on Wednesday, the Council of State confirmed the validity of the initiative called “A life here, a voice here,” which calls for the canton to grant foreign nationals the right to vote.  

Currently, foreigners who have lived in Geneva for more than eight years can vote, but only in communal elections.

But cantonal authorities believe that "greater inclusion of the different categories of the population would strengthen our democracy.”

The vote on this issue is due to be held on April 2nd.  

READ MORE: Foreign residents in Geneva could get voting rights


And speaking of foreign nationals…
At 41 percent, Geneva has the highest concentration of foreign population in Switzerland — but who exactly are these people?

More detailed information can be gleaned from Geneva’s Statistical Office (OCSTAT). 

It shows that out of nearly 512,000 residents, 36,000 are French nationals (not surprising, given Geneva's proximity to France and common language), followed by Portuguese (32,000), and Italians (20,000); 44,000 are  from other European countries.

About 20,000 residents come from America and the same number from Asia.

Geneva is the most dangerous canton for pedestrians
If you live in Geneva, make sure to look both ways when crossing the street.

That’s because it is the most dangerous canton for pedestrians, according to the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO).

With 2.7 road accidents involving pedestrians per 10,000 inhabitants, Geneva is ahead of Zurich (2.5) and Nidwalden (2.5).

However, motorists are not the only ones responsible for the accidents — careless pedestrians are also to blame.

"In a third of accidents, pedestrians are at fault, due to their inattention," when crossing the road, said Alexandre Brahier, a spokesperson for Geneva’s police. 

READ MORE: MAPS: Which Swiss canton has the worst drivers?


Police are polling Genevans to find out their main safety concerns

The Geneva police are launching a major population study to determine the residents’ needs and expectations in terms of security.

The findings will help the police in six of the canton’s municipalities — Geneva, Carouge, Lancy, Meyrin, Plan-les-Ouates, and Vernier —to  set crime-fighting priorities.

READ MORE: The downsides of Geneva you should be aware of before moving there


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