The Swiss Government believes that a restriction on immigration levels is not necessary and is urging voters to reject such action in order to maintain the country’s economic strength.
Environmentalist group, Ecopop, gathered enough signatures last year to force a referendum on the immigration issue under the Swiss system of direct democracy. But the government is against the move, and yesterday explained that a cap would be a huge blow to Switzerland’s economic future.
“Greatly restricting immigration into Switzerland, as proposed by the initiative, would mean that some sectors of the economy would be unable to recruit the workers they require,” the government said in an official statement yesterday.
Although not a member of the EU, Switzerland’s immigration model still works on a freedom of movement model which allows EU citizens to move to the country to live and work, along with a limited number of non-EU citizens.
According to government data, 1.9 million of Switzerland’s just over 8 million permanent residents are foreigners, including a relatively large proportion of the country’s workforce.
The referendum on the immigration cap is due to take place in February.
Article published 24th October 2013