The Swiss clearly reject any restriction on the influx of foreigners. The march of the right-wing conservative SVP, who also wanted to end the free movement of persons within the European Union, clearly failed in a referendum on Sunday. According to the end result, 61.7 percent voted against.
The SVP had argued that too many people were reducing prosperity and were too expensive for social security. Since 1990, Switzerland’s population has increased by about a quarter to 8.6 million.
This should give new impetus to the lengthy cooperation negotiations with the European Union. The EU wants to place all bilateral agreements under a framework agreement. This is also intended to weaken some of the privileges that Switzerland has negotiated. As a warning, she has already suspended recognition for the Zurich Stock Exchange. The Swiss government is calling for improvement of the proposal from Brussels.
The introduction of two weeks of paternity leave was accepted by 60.3 percent. The fathers should receive 80 percent of their pay during this time. The results of the votes on the hunting law and the purchase of fighter jets were on the cutting edge for hours.
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The new hunting law, which was supposed to facilitate shooting wolves, was ultimately rejected by 51.9 percent. The animals were once exterminated, but are back home in Switzerland. It is estimated that there are about 80 to 100 animals today. According to authorities, between 300 and 500 sheep and goats have been killed every year in the last ten years. With the change, wolves must remain protected, but under certain circumstances, they must be shot before doing any damage.
The government’s request to buy new fighter jets for up to 6 billion francs (about 5.5 billion euros) has only just been honored. The deciding factor was less than 9,000 votes. By 2030, about 30 Swiss F / A will have to be replaced. In the running for the order are Airbus with the Eurofighter, the French company Dassault with the Rafale type and the Americans: Boeing with its F / A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed-Martin with the F-35.
About 5.4 million Swiss have the right to vote. While the turnout for referendums is usually below 50 percent, this time it was around 58 percent. (dpa)