Sat 1 Dec 2012 to Tue 31 Dec 2013

Switzerland to hold referendum on immigration

  • By Maja Micudova and 1 other
  • Last update: 3 years ago
  • Switzerland

Swiss environmentalist fear immigration will destroy the country's natural resources

flickr-james_gordon_losangeles

Switzerland holds a referendum on limiting immigration after the country's environmentalists presented the government with 120,000 signatures to force a national vote on the cause. 

With the initiative "Stop overpopulation to safeguard natural resources," Ecopop, a campaigner on environmental and population issues, has expressed concerns about the number of inhabitants in their landlocked nation. 

The organization's petition calls for an annual limit of 0.2 percent on Swiss population growth through immigration. It also demands that the government allocates ten percent of its international aid resources to support family planning abroad.

 "The pressure on land, nature and the countryside is considerable and quality of life is continuously deteriorating due to a lack of living space," said Philippe Roch, a former director of the environment department and member of Ecopop.

The referendum could reportedly bring Switzerland into conflict with the EU over its treaty obligations.

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