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at the end of the day, all of the noise around immigration has less to do with expats and more to do with the burgeoning class warfare in Switzerland. the expat industry has existed in Switzerland for decades and is an integral component of the self-subsidized Swiss economy. the fundamental issue ....
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Please allow me as "Swiss Expat" in the Caribbean to chip in my 2 cents.
Switzerland by tradition was for centuries a country of emigrants. Nothing to eat then stones and dry herbs many of them went to foreign armies to find a decent income. Swiss are scattered all over the world, as you can see in the US by City names like "New Zurich", "New Bern" et cetera.
Main reason Switzerland went so prosperous is the fact the we (almost) went out of the second world war without having everything in ashes. Same goes for the US. As our production facilities where intact we could deliver our goods immediate to rebuild those nations battered down. In opposite you can see how long Russia had to recover from WWII has they had no access to an intact infrastructure.
In the 1950 the migration wave started. First with our neighbors, Italians.
But so many where coming in, unable to adapt (all where to find in the "Centro Italiano" and did not mix with natives). This was the time (1960/70) when we start to limit these "low level" immigrants, specially as then Spanish and Portuguese knocked on our doors too. But these where all jobs no Swiss would take on, hard labor or dirty and not well paid.
At the same time, specialized industrial work gets a more and more mechanized (1980/90), labor intensive work ether was exported to cheap labor countries or robotized. Mass firing started. By then the financial,banking and insurance industry where able to absorb these obsoletes job seekers. Service industries started. But, as whole, if I clean your shoes and your clean mine, are we more rich? Did we really create more wealth?
Then Schengen came and suddenly our pool to access labor grew. A pool with many talents and highly educated folks. For the first time Switzerland faced a problem never encountered before - foreigners gathered the highly paid jobs, Management Positions the foreigners where not able to get before because of Immigration laws. So good Swiss Managers all of a sudden where not good enough for top positions and needed to find a "second class" job, pushing the second on third, a wave that is going downwards. This never ever happen before!!
Other things starts i.e. a HR-Manager from Germany will give preference to his fellow citizen. I not even blame him, I would do the same! Really! And it's easily done as he is saying: "We could not find any Swiss for these Jobs". Well he only advertised in Leipzig and Berlin. So no wonder why?
But he also did it to lure more cheaper labor. And he can show now that under his management the cost of labor went down by 20-30%. So he is qualified, isn't he? But all together, for you as a Swiss, it builds up frustration!
Now, as Cashboy mentioned before me, all this so "highly qualified foreigners" are they really so qualified? What is qualification? I'll send you my resume - you give it to your HR department and I will get zero jobs in return? Why? Because, according to Swissness, I am not qualified. I had an IT company here ins Switzerland with 8 employees, one abroad with 14 employees. Now, everybody with no University degree but his own company will recognize what it mans to start a company and bring it up to 14, right. But you, you can hire with someone else's money with no consequences for you - ever. Do you know what it means to come up every month with 80k or 120k cash to pay salaries? I am not going to school, I am doing it myself and by myself what others are teaching you - means at the end I get no degree - but knowledge!
I have been denied for a job by ABB because of my English, I have no degree! I never went 1 minute in my whole life to school to learn English - and here I am and write to you! But I am not qualified! As the one who is "qualified" expects from me the same paper he has worked so hard for - and if you haven't it you IMPOSSIBLY could be qualified, right?
Good Lord, don't forget we Swiss are a blindfolded, narrow minded tribe of trivial farmers. 1950 someone from Bern moving to Luzern had no right to vote, he was considered "stranger", "alien", "foreigner", "not from here around"!! 1970 I was in a bashing as we -from Luzern- taking away the girls from the local tribes called Wolhusen during carnival. It was considered an "invasion of aliens"!
BUT, 2008, we visited Yellow Stone National Park, somewhere in a little town in Wyoming. my Russian Wife opens her mouth and some Russian accent flooded the real style Western Saloon called Wendy. Oh gosh, you could hear a needle drop! A silence like in the deserts. Then the bartender, asking carefully: "Your folks, you are not from around here, are you!"
It really scared the shit out of me
Be careful when trowing GDP figures around you. It actually means nothing, consider this: As more sick and unhealthy people we have, as more turnover the health industry will create - as higher the GDP will be. Same with accidents, with garbage, with criminals, with natural catastrophes, they all increase GDP! But - in essence you are right!
Yes, we will deny social security to you but you still have to chip in. Happens with me all over the world. We really should do the same...
How to stop you? Simple, do it like other EU countries do, first you need to make an X-Ray, put you 6 month under quarantine (you stay in your home country) as you might have tuberculosis, meanwhile you employer should have ample time to find someone else... It is not really difficult, just needs a bit creativity - lucky for you we Swiss have a lack of it, but compensate it with correctness...
Or as it happens to me within the Dutch Kingdom, every year you have to fulfill a 10page requirement list or you will be expatriated. Estimated time to get all the stamps and forms, 3-4 weeks per year - and you have to do it in person. Cost: 4000 USD. The best is the Immigration Department. You have to be there 2-3 am. It opens 7am. for 5 minutes. They give 25 numbers. if 25 are before you - there is always a next day! Then they close and will open at any given moment before 17pm. Call you number 3 times, chance gone. Next day again. There is not toilet, no shade, no roofing, nothing to sit on 100m up an down the road. It trains your muscles, some internals too (no WC!) The road is so dirty, it makes you stay (did I mention, no WC!
). Around 20,000 foreigners have to go the same procedure every year. Yeap - take the math, surprise! 200x25= 5000 applications processed - you'll be illegal alien in no time. What is Switzerland doing in exchange, correct as we are, come in, free stay! Take our jobs!
The funny thing is, that there all the foreigners believe, that when they all would pull out, the local economy would crash! Guess what?
With the system above, they make them pull out. Me by the way too. Just had enough. And what happen? This country is still on the map and they still doing well. So in micro-cosmos you have the situation you describe. Some rich fellows could not take advantage of the foreigners anymore, rent went down to a normal rate natives could afford, and planet earth still makes his orbit...
Same will be here, some will lose, some will gain, but the earth will still turn - I'll bet on this, even I don't have an University degree (my wife has two MBA and Bachelor - to compensate for me dummy) So I, as soon to be second class citizen, I don't want to be the rude boy, but: You're welcome here, however we are not forcing you to stay and you have right to leave at any given moment. Off course we will miss you, at least a second or two...