Switzerland’s right-wing People’s Party (SVP) aimed to launch a referendum on ending the Swiss-EU agreement on free movement of people, in order to get grip on illegal migration, flooding Europe. (Photo: illustration. At Swiss-German border).
The initiative has been launched after the Swiss parliament opted for a moderate immigration law instead of caps and quotas as the SVP, Switzerland’s strongest party wished.
“We can only slow down and direct the uncontrolled migration flow if we tighten the reins and take our own decisions about who can work and live in Switzerland and who has to leave,” SVP parliamentarian Marco Chiesa said.
At this point it is unclear when the Swiss voters will have an opportunity to cast their ballots on the referendum launched by the SVP, along with the Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland (AUNS), a conservative lobby group.
The initiators first need 100,000 signatures from the supporters of the initiative. Then the government has a period of reflection up to two years before scheduling the vote. However, taking into consideration, public mood, the process can take much shorter period of time. Already the preparations and public debate can create a political momentum, AUNS executive director Werner Gertenmann said.
The preparations and public debate can create political momentum, AUNS executive director Gartenmann added. Ahead of previous referenda, “it was not uncommon that already the collecting of the signatures put a certain pressure on the government.”