The rightwing Swiss People’s Party says it will launch an anti-immigration campaign this election year.
Party leaders on Monday said they wanted to re-introduce a quota system even though it would go against the Swiss-European Union free movement of people agreement.
According to the proposal, it will be up to the government to decide how many foreigners would be permitted into the country to work. People’s Party president Toni Brunner said fixing a number would be too inflexible.
Since introducing quotas would contravene the free movement accord, the government would have to reopen negotiations on the issue with Brussels, said party member Luzi Stamm.
However, Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann, speaking at a separate event in Zurich, defended the free movement deal.
Schneider-Ammann said the treaty helped Switzerland avoid a dried up job market, and warned against blaming immigrants for problems like increased traffic and a lack of affordable housing.
swissinfo.ch and agencies