Switzerland voters reject immigration cap

Final referendum results show 74 percent voted "no" on limiting net immigration to fewer than 17,000 people a year.

    Switzerland voters reject immigration cap
    Supporters of the move had argued that a curb on immigration would ease pressure on the country's economy [AFP]

    A clear majority of Swiss voters have in a referendum decided against drastically limiting immigration to the country.

    According to final results, 74.1 percent of those participating in Sunday's referendum voted "no" on limiting net immigration to fewer than 17,000 people a year.

    The measure was one of three issues voters had to decide on, including bids to scrap special tax breaks for rich foreigners living but not working in Switzerland, and on forcing the central bank to increase its gold reserves, all of which were rejected.

    Those in favour of limiting immigration had argued that a curb would ease pressure on the country's economy and environment. Those opposed said the curb would be bad for economy.

    Highest percentage

    Just under one quarter of Switzerland's eight million people were born abroad which, together with Australia, is the highest percentage in the world.

    In order to gain access to the EU single market, Switzerland signed the bilateral Free Movement of Persons Agreement, opening its borders to EU migration.

    While some local businesses complain that they would not be able to maintain their workforce if immigration was capped, Ecopop, the initiative behind the proposal, claim the cap is necessary to protect the ecology and quality of life in the country.

    According to Ecopop, immigration is adding 1.1-1.4 percent annually to the Swiss population, putting the country on track to house up to 12 million people by 2050.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.