The sky is falling, the sky is falling! The hysterical shrieks are heard around the world:
The Swiss have held a referendum on a government move to tighten the country’s asylum law amid a spike in refugees, with early results and opinion polls suggesting a vote in favour.
Shortly after polling stations closed on Sunday at noon (1000 GMT), nine of Switzerland’s 23 cantons had accepted changes made to the asylum law last September, according to results given by public broadcaster RTS. The most recent poll in late May showed 57 percent of Swiss in favour of the tougher asylum rules.
TheÂ amendmentsÂ includedÂ removing military desertion from a list of valid grounds for seeking asylum in SwitzerlandÂ Military desertion had been the grounds for asylum most frequently cited by Eritreans, who accounted for most applications to Switzerland last year. Eritrea imposes unlimited military service, with low wages, on all able-bodied men and women.
The revision, which took effect last September, also removed the possibility – which had been unique in Europe – to apply for asylum from Swiss embassies instead of travelling to Switzerland to do so. Opponents have described the change as Â “inhumane”.
Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga insisted the changes were needed and stressed that they have significantly speeded up the application process.
“Leaving people and their families for so long wallowing in uncertainty is unacceptable,” she said recently.
Switzerland currently counts 48,000 people in the process of seeking asylum, including 28,631 who arrived in 2012.
The surge, attributed in part to the Arab Spring uprisings, marks the highest number since the Balkans war in 1999, when nearly 48,000 people sought refuge in the country.
Swiss Say “Nein” to More Migration
Â The EU is Europe’s cancer and is destroying it economically, politically and socially.
If you want to see why open borders politicians loathe and hate democracy so much (at least until they manage to use immigration to rig it their way) look no further than Switzerland.
Switzerland is far more democratic than the United States. The ability of the public there to control actual policy, instead of just voting for the lesser evil, has made transforming it in the way that the rest of Europe has been transformedÂ more of a challenge. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening, but it is happening at a slower rate.
A decision by Switzerland to limit migration from other European countries has provoked a sharp response from officials of the European Union.
The federal government in Bern announced on Wednesday it was extending quotas on long-term residence permits granted to citizens of eight Eastern European states and anticipated expanding the measure to include migrants from Western Europe.
Switzerland is not a member of the 27-member Union. However, under a 1999 freedom of movement agreement, EU citizens are allowed to live and work there, as 1.2 million of them currently do.
Under pressure from a vociferous anti-immigration campaign, and faced with 80,000 extra arrivals from the rest of Europe each year, the government has invoked a safeguard clause that allows it to set quotas.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, was among officials who rebuked the Swiss. “These measures disregard the great benefits that the free movement of persons brings to the citizens of both Switzerland and the E.U.,” she said.
She also warned Bern that the distinction it was making between migrants from different parts of the Continent violated the 1999 agreement.
If the free movement of Eastern European gangsters and thieves were really of great benefit to Switzerland, then the measures would not have been invoked. France and the UK have been trying to do similar things. UK politicians have proposed running negative ads against their own country to discourage migrants from coming.
The decision does benefit the EU, but the EU is Europe’s cancer and is destroying it economically, politically and socially. So cue the right wing populism slant.
The Swiss announcement hinted that the move had less to do with raw numbers than with an attempt to assuage right-wing populist opinion.
Absolut verboten: you’re not allowed to have a “Â right-wing populist opinion.”
The government said the quotas were needed to make immigration more acceptable to society. According to Simonetta Sommaruga, the Swiss justice minister who announced the curbs, “It’s a fact that there is unease among the population, and it’s necessary to take this unease seriously.
And here’s where the problem kicks in. Most European immigration and migration curbs are there as a sop. A way to convince the population that their concerns are being taken seriously. But they don’t really do anything to change the big picture.
Like the border security pitch for illegal alien amnesty in the United States, they are only window dressing to soothe the savage beast of the electorate.