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Initiative combats “mass naturalisation”

The far-right Freedom Party of Switzerland has launched a people's initiative called "Stop Mass Naturalisation", saying a right to citizenship is not a human right.

Slamming “numerous abuses”, the fringe party, which is not represented in the federal parliament, called for a tightening of the criteria used when giving out Swiss passports.

The party said on Tuesday that all those applying for Swiss citizenship should have to learn one of Switzerland’s four national languages since language was the most important condition for integration.

They also wanted to crack down on the fast-track naturalisation of foreigners who had married a Swiss, adding that the main aim of the initiative was the abolishment of dual citizenship.

However Gianni d’Amato, head of the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies at Neuchâtel University, told swissinfo that dual citizenship had helped increase naturalisations and had been “a real success for integration”.

“These people just want to make life more difficult for foreigners,” he said. “If dual citizenship were abandoned, it would make naturalisations less attractive for people who want to find a way of joining the community without losing their roots.”

He added: “It would make more sense to simplify citizenship rules for second- and third-generation foreigners who are more Swiss than anything else.”

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR