Swiss Voters Narrowly Approve Immigration Quotas





” Voters in Switzerland on Sunday narrowly backed a plan to limit immigration, in a blow for the government after it had warned that the measure could harm the Swiss economy and relations with the European Union.

  The move is seen by some as another sign of the anti-immigrant sentiment that has been brewing in several European countries over the years, fueled by anger over economies that have been stagnant since the global financial recession.

  Swiss public television SRF reported that some 50.3 percent of voters backed a proposal by the nationalist People’s Party to introduce quotas for all types of immigrants. About 49.7 percent voted against the plan. The difference between the two sides was fewer than 30,000 votes, with a turnout of about 56 percent.

  The decision means that the Swiss government will need to re-negotiate treaties on the free movement of workers that it had painstakingly hammered out with the EU. Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but until now, citizens from most EU member states could live and work in Switzerland with little formality, while Swiss citizens could do the same in the 28-nation bloc that encircles the Alpine nation.”