Swiss rightist party campaigns to curb immigration

July 26, 2011 16:15


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ZURICH - A Swiss political party that successfully campaigned for a ban on building new minarets started collecting signatures on Tuesday for a referendum initiative to limit the number of immigrants to Switzerland.

The right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), expected to remain the biggest party in parliament's lower house at national polls in October, wants to amend the constitution to set annual quotas to limit residency permits granted to foreigners.

"With our popular initiative the SVP wants to stop mass immigration and win back control over those entering the country," the party said on its website.

Although not a member of the European Union, Switzerland has no limit on the number of citizens of the 27-nation bloc taking up employment. The SVP measure would bring the Alpine state into conflict with its treaty obligations with the EU.

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