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Old 14.10.2014, 15:45
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

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. . . But I fail to see why the exact village should be of importance at all. If one knows all the cantons, but not the third village up the hill in the direction he never drives as he goes to Zurich - does this really disqualify him from being a good Swiss?
I agree and definitely think the balance is wrong in this case. Most applicants for citizenship cannot claim to have contributed to Swiss national resources (ETH etc.). The applicant here has, and so some weight should have been given to that to compensate for the lack of detailed local knowledge.
Also, an academic (who is not the typical citizenship candidate) may appear to be "aloof" and "distant" at the interview simply because they (academics) tend to channel and focus their mental resources in a way which ordinary people can not or do not. So, for instance, he may be able to describe in great detail an industrial process for producing sulphuric acid, but may not have clue on what day the rubbish is collected in Gross (because the cleaning lady deals with all that) or my not know how his house is heated because his wife looks after all that sort of thing.

In some cases, of course, where a person or family clearly does not fit in, like the case here http://www.nzz.ch/zuerich/region/wer...len-1.18385108 , then it is useful to be able to speak of "poor integration" and "lack of local knowledge" simply because these are concrete statements which can be used where the real issues cannot be so plainly spoken. However, if everything else fits including command of the local language, then an incomplete local knowledge or diminished local circle of friends/acquaintances should not outweigh the many positive characteristics.
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