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Switzerland Plans to Vote on Reducing Number of Immigrants

Switzerland Plans to Vote on Reducing Number of Immigrants 

After enough signatures were gathered on Wednesday, a vote on measures aimed at restricting immigration to prevent the country’s population from reaching 10 million before 2050 will take place in Switzerland.

In Switzerland, where direct democracy is practiced, citizens have eighteen months to gather 100,000 valid signatures in order to call for a popular vote.

The hard right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) submitted 114,600 signatures to the Federal Chancellery in Bern on Wednesday—collected in half the time.

“Mass immigration continues its frantic course… with devastating consequences for our small country,” said the SVP, which is the biggest party in the wealthy Alpine nation.

Adopting the initiative “is urgent to protect our unique landscape, our high quality of life, our above-average prosperity and a secure, free future for us and our children.”

Once petition signatures are verified, it generally takes months, or even years, before a vote takes place.

The permanent population at the end of 2022 was 8.82 million, up from 8.54 million at the end of 2018. Foreigners make up a quarter of the population.

By adding a clause stating that “the permanent resident population of Switzerland must not exceed 10 million people before the year 2050,” the initiative seeks to amend the Swiss Constitution.

Swiss nationals living in the nation and foreigners who are either here for a minimum of 12 months or have a valid one-year residency permit would be considered permanent residents.

The government and parliament “will take measures, in particular regarding asylum and family reunification, with a view to ensuring compliance” if it surpasses 9.5 million before 2050.

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