Most Swiss voting in a referendum have approved the easier expulsion of foreigners convicted of serious crimes such as murder, according to preliminary computer projections released on Sunday by national television.How is it hostile to want to remove rapists from your midst? It only seems logical.
In the latest sign of growing hostility to immigration in the Alpine state, 53 percent of voters accepted a proposal to deport automatically foreigners convicted of crimes including rape or trafficking in drugs or people.
The margin of error for the initial result was 3 percent, the polling group GFS Bern said, but computer projections are considered highly accurate. The referendum was officially held on Sunday but many Swiss voted earlier by postal ballot.Well, Mo, if you're not a criminal then what have you got to worry about?
The initiative was put forward by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), which has played on rising fear about immigration in recent years to become the country's biggest political movement.
Posters for the SVP's proposal show a group of white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag. They first ran when the SVP was collecting signatures for the referendum.
"First the Muslims and minarets, now criminals," said Mohammed, a native of Lebanon who recently received his Swiss passport. "We're not all criminals."
Last year the Swiss backed a ban on construction of new minarets, drawing international condemnation.Really? International condemnation? From where, exactly?
In the same referendum, 58 percent of voters shot down a second proposal that would have imposed a minimum cantonal (state) tax on the very rich, the preliminary figures showed.Stunning, isn't it? People actually vote with their pocketbooks? Those with money who employ people could actually move to avoid the taxes? Perish the thought.
The center-left Social Democrats (SP) proposed levying a minimum tax of 22 percent on income above 250,000 Swiss francs ($251,200). But support for the measure waned after business lobby economiesuisse warned it could trigger an exodus of the rich and their companies.