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

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.