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10M Swiss: SVP wants to cap immigration to Switzerland

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 5 July 2023
The Swiss People’s Party has warned that Switzerland is at capacity in terms of energy, Nature preservation and more. Their solution? Write a population cap into the Swiss constitution.
10M Swiss: SVP wants to cap immigration to Switzerland
This week the SVP party released their “Keine 10 Millionen Schweiz!” to cap the population (Keystone SDA).

The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) wants to limit immigration to prevent Switzerland from reaching a population of 10 million beginning with the launch of a new, national popular initiative.

The initiative committee has until January 4, 2025 to collect the necessary 100,000 signatures. The referendum “No 10 million Switzerland!” was released this week via the Federal Gazette. The SVP began collecting signatures on Tuesday.

“Beautiful Switzerland with its high quality of life does not deserve to become a second Hong Kong,” said Zurich SVP National Councilor Thomas Matter to the media in Bern. The influx of people into Switzerland must be stopped, he added.

10M Swiss: SVP wants to cap immigration to Switzerland
Switzerland is expensive, but the best part of the country is free: nature (Keystone SDA).
Switzerland at capacity

According to the text of the initiative, the federal constitution would be supplemented with a new article on “sustainable population development” under the initiative.

Accordingly, the permanent resident population of Switzerland must not exceed ten million people before the year 2050. If the permanent resident population of Switzerland exceeds nine and a half million people before 2050, the Federal Council and the Federal Assembly would have to take measures in the area of ​​asylum.

From the moment the limit is exceeded, temporarily admitted persons may no longer receive a residence or settlement permit, Swiss citizenship or any other right to residence. If these measures prove not enough, Switzerland would ultimately have to terminate the agreement on the free movement of persons with the EU as an emergency brake.

According to the SVP, compliance with the limit value applies in particular to protecting the environment and in the interest of long-term preservation of the natural basis of life, the efficiency of infrastructure, health care and Swiss social security.

10M Swiss: SVP wants to cap immigration to Switzerland
Even vacation home owners of Swiss properties cannot obtain some coveted residence permits.
‘We finally have to do something concrete’

The topic of immigration is one of the main topics for the SVP during this election year. With the launch of the latest initiative, the party is again bringing the topic to the public.

The latest referendum is in line with previous ones, such as the successful mass immigration initiative and the failed limitation initiative. According to the SVP, the population must now act “because the politicians in Bern are doing the opposite of what the people have decided.”

The party receives “countless letters and requests from citizens” on this topic, said Matter. He said “we finally have to do something concrete.” If nothing happens, the problems in Switzerland will increase, warned the Thurgau SVP National Councilor Manuel Strupler.

There are more traffic jams than ever before, and there are also overcrowded trains and trams. The energy, water and health supply are at the limit, there is a shortage of teachers. The SVP attributes all these consequences to Switzerland’s “excessive immigration policy.”

10M Swiss: SVP wants to cap immigration to Switzerland
Critics of the initiative say that capping immigration could slow the Swiss economy (Keystone SDA).
Slow down economic growth

“The young generation is paying the highest price for the population explosion,” said St. Gallen SVP National Councilor Mike Egger. The Canton of Zurich is suffocating under excessive population growth, the Zurich SVP Canton Councilor Domenik Ledergerber pointed out.

The Zug SVP National Council and parliamentary group leader Thomas Aeschi defended himself against the accusation from business circles that the initiative is weakening the Swiss economy.

“Yes, we want a certain brake on economic growth, but growth should still take place,” he said. According to Aeschi, the economy does not have to solve the demographic problems with more immigration. The aim is to integrate more older employees into the labor market and to increasingly promote lateral entry.

10M Swiss: SVP wants to cap immigration to Switzerland
A good portion of Swiss business runs on the EU cross-border agreement (Keystone SDA).
Employers warn against initiative

The delegates of SVP Switzerland approved the new SVP initiative last weekend with 310 to 0 votes. The referendum was developed by the SVP Canton Zurich.

Around nine million people now live in Switzerland. In 2022, against the background of a record high demand for labor, net immigration as part of the free movement of people and the employment of cross-border commuters rose sharply. On the day the SVP sustainability initiative was launched, employers warned against renewed attempts to endanger the free movement of people, saying that immigration brings more prosperity to Switzerland.

This article was reprinted with permission from Keystone SDA.

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