On Thursday, the Zug cantonal parliament rejected a proposal to do away with mandatory German language requirements for rich foreigners seeking a permanent residence permit.
The government of the central Swiss canton wanted to make acquiring a Swiss “C” residence permit easier for wealthy expats from other countries. The German language exemption would have applied to foreigners with a taxable income of at least CHF1 million and CHF20 million in assets. It was targeted specifically at rich expats from outside the Eurozone. Around 20 wealthy individuals would have benefited if the proposal had been accepted.
In the end, it was rejected by 44 votes to 27, over reservations that the exception would not be to the taste of the local population. The Alternative Green Party had threatened to launch a referendum if the plans went ahead.
Zug, known as a tax haven, is not the only canton to appeal to the rich. Ticino, Nidwalden, Lucerne and Schwyz also reserve the right to make exceptions in certain cases, when it’s “in the public interest”.
swissinfo.ch and agencies