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Commercial activity Firm wins five-year brothel battle

Building where prostitutes ply trade

In Switzerland, prostitution is legal and is taxed liked any other business


A company has won the right to build a brothel in the industrial district of Magadino in Italian-speaking Switzerland. The town authorities failed to convince the courts that prostitution was not a commercial undertaking.  

The company, Goblatime, had submitted an application for a construction permit for a brothel in Magadino in March 2013. The town officials objected because they deemed prostitution contrary to the norms in the industrial, commercial and artisanal quarter of Quartino, they said in a statement on Wednesday. 

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The conflict first became the subject of discussion in Ticino cantonal parliament. The case was then passed on to the cantonal administrative court. The last court of appeal, the Second Court of Public Law of the Federal Supreme Court, decided that prostitution had both commercial and service aspects, and was thus in accordance with the norms of the industrial zone. 

In Switzerland, prostitution is legal and is taxed liked any other business. But some cantons and cities have their own specific regulations.



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