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The Great Replacement in Switzerland

After the article on the Great Replacement in Belgium, I present you the following translation of an article by Polémia on the situation in Switzerland. The Swiss situation is unique, if only because of the country’s objective excellence and exceptional quality of life, and the extraordinary practice of direct democracy. Thus we have the rather rare situation of citizens actually being allowed to vote on whether and in what conditions new people should be allowed into their country.

Make no mistake: the scale of demographic change is also tremendous in Switzerland, but mainly because of European immigration and even Europeans find it very difficult to accede to Swiss nationality (there is no birthright citizenship). Thus Switzerland provides a model how people might preserve a nice country in the future: a highly-selective, citizenist little republic founded on gentrified democratic localism.

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Switzerland has experienced very significant immigration over the past decades. This immigration is a source of fears or even rejection on the part of a portion of the Swiss people. These fears concern basically two issues: competition on the labor market by Europeans and the challenge to the [Swiss] cultural model posed by non-Europeans; all the more so in that, recently, the integration of the non-European population is failing to be realized.

In the face of this, the Swiss authorities’ responses oscillate between openness and firmness. A firmness which is occasionally demanded by the people in the form of the referenda which are regularly organized in Switzerland. Selective immigration is not an empty slogan in this country, even if a part of the political opposition would like the government to go much further on this issue.

Very significant migration flows

Since the Second World War, Switzerland has experienced two significant waves of immigration. The first coincided with the industrial growth of the 50s and 60s. The second began in 1975 and has continued ever since.

After the Second World War, the Swiss government granted many residence permits to mostly European workers in a context of industrial recovery. Immigration was then suddenly stopped with the repatriation of almost 300,000 foreign workers during the economic crisis caused by the first oil shock of 1973. Every year since then, Switzerland has welcomed a rising and significant number of foreigners, in proportion to its population.

Whereas 92,000 immigrants permanently moved to the country in 1981, they were 146,000 in 2018. Net migration (immigrants minus emigrants) has always been positive for the 1962-2017 period. On average 163,000 more people entered the country every year than left during this period. . . .

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Posted by Rocco Owen

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