"Mass immigration" initiative handed in

Voters will have the final say on a proposal by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party to put a stop to what it calls “mass immigration”.

This content was published on February 14, 2012 - 17:47 and agencies

The party, which collected 136,195 signatures to force a vote, believes the European Union has too much say on immigration through the free movement of people accord and wants the deal to be re-negotiated.

The people’s initiative calls for quotas for immigration, including for asylum seekers, cross-border workers and family members of immigrants.

People’s Party President Toni Brunner said that the initiative would  “open the debate on immigration” and allow Switzerland to manage the issue itself.

The business community has already reacted against the initiative.

The Swiss Business Federation, economiesuisse, said that it would not solve any problems and would call the tried and tested bilateral agreement into question. This would have harmful economic consequences, it warned.

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