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Swiss border guards are struggling to cope with the migrant influx along the southern border with Italy

(swissinfo.ch)

The Sunday papers are reporting on how Swiss universities can profit from disillusionment against Donald Trump’s election to poach US academics. Migrants are another hot topic with announcements on European passports for clandestine migrants and closure of the Swiss border in the south at night. 

Trump effect 

German-language Sunday paper Schweiz am Sonntag has carried a story on how Switzerland is eyeing academic brains in the United States, after the fallout of the election of Donald Trump as president. 

“We will be intensifying our headhunting in the USA,” the president of swissuniversitiesexternal link Michael Hengartner, told the paper. 

The Trump effect was also confirmed by the new president of Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) Martin Vetterli. He told the paper that he had received a job application from a professor in New York a few hours after the Trump’s election and expects more such applications. His Zurich counterpart Lino Guzzella, who presides over Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), didn’t want to comment on the Trump effect but was confident in the attractiveness of Swiss universities. He did say that European scientists who chose to return often opt for his university. 

Migrant passport 

According to German-language paper, NZZ am Sonnntag, the cabinet has decided last week to introduce a European passport for clandestine migrants and rejected asylum seekers. This could make it easier to expel around 2,800 such migrants from the country, which is not possible currently as they don’t possess any official documents. According to the paper, illegal migrants from Algeria (around 420) will be most affected by the measure, followed by China (250), Morocco (240), and Tunisia (200) based on statistics from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). 

Night border closure 

In an interview with Schweiz am Sonntag, cabinet minister Ueli Maurer said Switzerland will close its southern border with Italy due to a lack of resources to manage migrant flows properly. According to him, asylum seekers trying to enter the canton of Ticino clandestinely via train and trucks has led to a need for more rigorous checks and personnel. Stricter rules on checks, more migrants trying to enter Switzerland, and increased risks during searches have prompted the measure, said the borders chief.

 In December 2016, Maurer had requested the cabinet to approve the deployment of 50 professional military staff to support regular border guards. They will be trained in policing duties but will not be patrolling the border. 

Guns galore 

According to Sonntags Blick, Switzerland boasts nearly 800,000 private firearms or slightly less than one per 10 inhabitants. Since October 2016, the data on weapons from various cantonal registers have been made available online through a common platform. So far, around half a million guns are registered in this database but this figure does not include five Swiss cantons, which have yet to integrate their data. With these five cantons, the precise figure for registered firearms in Switzerland is 791,719 guns. However, the requirement to register firearms only came into effect in 2008. Taking this into account, the paper estimates that there are around two million private firearms in the country.

 

swissinfo.ch and agencies/a.c

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