Tired of the constant flow of migrants, Switzerland initiated a plebiscite inspired by the Brexit idea.
The country intends to terminate the free movement of persons agreement with the EU. The relevant issue will be raised in a referendum which will take place next Sunday.
The vote was initiated by the Swiss People’s Party, the largest parliamentary group known for its right-wing views and fight against migration. The party insists that a limit be set on the number of foreigners coming to work.
Today, the Swiss population is 8.6 million and a quarter of them are migrants. It is predicted that the number of foreigners in the country could reach 10 million over the next 30 years. The Swiss People’s Party notes that migrants are provoking increased unemployment among Swiss citizens.
“Migrants are changing our culture”, – says the referendum campaign website. – “Squares, trains and streets are becoming less safe. In addition, almost half of all recipients of benefits are foreigners”.
Opponents of termination of the agreement with the European Union warn that Switzerland may thus reduce the number of migrants, but at the same time lose skilled workers. Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it has more than 120 agreements with the block. They concern free trade, data exchange, agriculture, research, police cooperation, civil aviation, road transport, tourism, education and pensions. If citizens support termination in a referendum, according to the government, at least six more agreements will lose force.
However, at this point it is not known whether the Swiss People’s Party will succeed. A recent sociological survey shows that 63% of respondents were against the termination of the agreement with the EU.Another bill on sanctions against Russians presented in the Senate