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Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
This 'delicacy' may no longer be permitted in Switzerland. Image by takedahrs from Pixabay

Government against imposing 'immigration' tax on foreigners; Switzerland condemned for racial profiling; and more news in our roundup on Wednesday.


Federal Council says ‘no’ to immigration tax

The government nixed the push by the Liberal-Radical MPs to force foreign nationals to pay for the privilege of living in Switzerland.

The proposed amount: 5,000 francs annually.

However, the Federal Council turned down the motion, arguing that such a move would be incompatible with freedom of movement agreement that Switzerland has with the EU, and would therefore be discriminatory against immigrants.

“I regret that the government dismisses the question with such nonchalance,” said Andrea Caroni, an MP behind the proposal, adding that the issue will be debated further during the next session of the parliament, which begins on February 26th.

READ ALSO: Could foreigners in Switzerland be forced to pay 'immigration tax'? 

Swiss to vote on foie-gras and fur ban

The Swiss Animal Alliance has collected enough signatures to launch a national vote to ban the import of both these animal-derived products. 

The organisation argues that the Swiss law recognises that animals have the capacity to suffer if mistreated. Therefore, continuing to authorise the import of products from animals that have been mistreated under the pretext that this is happening abroad “is a hypocrisy, and it is time to put an end to it.”

The date for the referendum has not been set yet.  


Human rights court condemns Switzerland for racial profiling

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg handed down its verdict on Tuesday in a case it termed as racial profiling.

The complainant, a Swiss citizen, had been stopped and searched by the police at the Zurich train station.

When asked to show his ID, the man, who is black, refused to do so, on the grounds that he was stopped because of his skin colour.

He was eventually fined 100 francs for refusing to comply with police orders.

He took his case to the ECHR, which ruled, based on the manner in which the complainant was stopped and searched, that he was indeed a victim of racial profiling.

Switzerland is ordered to pay him 22,821 francs in costs and expenses. 


The number of cross-border workers has increased

At the end of December 2023, there were around 393,000 G permit holders employed in in Switzerland — 3.5 percent more than during the same period the previous year — according to new data from the Federal Statistical Office.

A little more than half of the cross-border workforce live in France (57 percent), followed by Italy (23.2 percent), and Germany (16.5 percent).

READ ALSO: Who can work in Switzerland but live in a neighbouring country?

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