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Old 13.01.2006, 09:17
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Re: Are the swiss racist?

Economic migrants are more than welcome to offer their skills and experience - but if their skills aren't useful to the host country, they have no right to expect to be able to go there anyway under the guise of someone seeking asylum.

Perhaps another way to consider that point. Imagine that you are an "economic" migrant with skills useful to another country. One might assume that another country will provide the option for you to migrate there, or make it easy for you. Sadly, very few countries have skilled migration programs. Let's take Germany for example, it was possible to come there as a guest worker and clean toilets many years ago, but not as a skilled person. Result - massive skills gap, severly hurting the economy. Many european countries now need high levels of immigration to survive the next 50 years, but the populations prefers to bury their heads in the sand and pretend they don't need the foreigners. Meanwhile those countries with active skilled migration programmes are reaping the benefits of having other countries educate their immigrants and their economies are forging ahead.

One positive aspect of Switzerland is that it at least makes it possible for skilled migration (though without the promise of citizenship, and when it happens it takes far too long and is too expensive, but that is another story). That said - this type of migration is only possible with a sponsoring company, and is different to skilled migration in other countries where you can enter the country on a migration visa without having a job. It should also be pointed out that since Switzerland has agreements with the EU most "skilled migration" is now coming from within the EU, effectively shutting out the opportunity for those outside the EU.

Anyway, I think we are getting off the topic a little, I think we were discussing whether we encounter racist attitudes in our everyday dealings with Swiss people, and whether these attitudes are entrenched in society, or just manifest themselves in a few extremists.... To discuss the pros and cons of asylum seekers we should probably create a new thread :-)