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Old 02.10.2011, 01:00
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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A woman of immigrant origin (Greek, who married an American, got citizenship, etc) criticizes the leadership of the country, discusses basic business morality, criticizes cultural norms, etc). She also has an obvious accent. She is the owner of a major online news outlet (Huffington Post, which she might have sold actually...)

Is there are a Swiss version of this woman? Would Swiss people tolerate a woman with an obvious accent, who has no Swiss ancestry, criticizing the fundamental structure of Swiss society in Switzerland on television?

What about this guy? Indian born Muslim, American educate with fairly popular political show that regularly criticizes the U.S. on television (CNN: based on Atlanta).

He writes books called "The Post American World"

Or an Iranian (Persian)-British woman leading one of the top 3 Sunday Morning news shows in America, Christiane Amanpour who regularly ciritiszes the U.S. government, political and economic culture, etc. In the video below, the second Muslim woman is a professor at New York University, but a Pakistani born Canadian. The only native born America on that panel is the white guy...

According to some Swiss folks on this site, these "damn ungrateful foreigners" should shut up and go back where they came from if they don't like it. They should have nothing to say about America.
How many Swiss folks on this site do such? Don't you think you're talking about a little minority?

By the way, all those shining examples in the USA you mentioned, are US citizens. And besides that, how many such outstanding figures do you expect in country with a population comparable to New Jersey?
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Old 02.10.2011, 01:12
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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How many Swiss folks on this site do such? Don't you think you're talking about a little minority?

By the way, all those shining examples in the USA you mentioned, are US citizens. And besides that, how many such outstanding figures do you expect in country with a population comparable to New Jersey?
I don't believe Amanpoure is a U.S. Citizen. I can find some more folks who are not.

Such as Christopher Hitchens:



It is not just this website, I know more Swiss people in real life than on this website...and their attitude is similar (most of them) but not as rude in real life, obviously.

How many people should this country produce? Well, I don't know...one or two I would think...but I think the general attitude makes this highly unlikely. It would not be tolerated. People would take offense to a person with a foreign accent speaking in such a way, and if they were a non-citizen. LOL
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Old 02.10.2011, 01:14
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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where are you from originally?


I think Americans are quite nationalistic, or I did until I came to Europe, but we recognize a fundamental thing.

All criticism is not the same.

Example A: "I hate this place, everything is stupid, the people, the culture is f'ed up, the weather sucks, blah blah"

Example B: I think this is a great country, but it might be improved by A and B...what do you think? If not why not?

The responses to A and B in Switzerland are typically some version of "love it or leave it, shut up foreigner, go home"

That does not tend to be the American response, although that response exists, it is the minority, if it was not I could not show you famous personalities on popular well watched stations on American tv as i just have.

We have had countless (and I am sure if put to the test I can name a dozen immigrants) who have fundamentally changed U.S. society or government policy (for the better and worse) in the last 100 years. Most people accept this as normal, and generally good.

But apparently you have found utopia, so...
I have news for you.Butt I don`t know if there is enough space here
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Old 02.10.2011, 01:31
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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To the person who said that over 20% of people in the country are foreign, compared to 11% in the U.S...this is true.

But why? In Switzerland many foreigners are "C" permit holders, many second generation. In America if you are born there you are automatically a citizen.

I checked immigration rates per capita last year and posted them on this site somewhere. They are almost identical, Switzerland actually edges out the U.S. slightly. The issue is what happens to foreigners who get in.

It is easier to become a citizen, faster to get a green card...so the amount of "foreigners" by law decreases quite a bit. Also, my belief is, that more foreigners in the U.S. want to live and stay there, they settle and integrate (in their own way)...Switzerland has more transient foreigners who stay a couple of years and go home or to another job somewhere else.
Q? Are you the same American which desperately wanted to go to Switzerland ,have being warned about it ,now your shocked?
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Old 02.10.2011, 01:36
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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I don't believe Amanpoure is a U.S. Citizen. I can find some more folks who are not.

Such as Christopher Hitchens:
Huh? Hitchens has been a U.S. citizen for years.
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Old 02.10.2011, 02:32
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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I don't believe Amanpoure is a U.S. Citizen. I can find some more folks who are not.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5646602/what_ethnicity_religion_and_nationality.html

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It is not just this website, I know more Swiss people in real life than on this website...and their attitude is similar (most of them) but not as rude in real life, obviously.
I didn't say you said it's only this Website. I'm fully aware of xenophobia in this country. Switzerland is not an exception in this field. I also know that you wrote only about "some Swiss folks on this site." However, I still say that's very rare. Stupidity can be found everywhere, even on this forum.

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How many people should this country produce? Well, I don't know...one or two I would think...but I think the general attitude makes this highly unlikely. It would not be tolerated. People would take offense to a person with a foreign accent speaking in such a way, and if they were a non-citizen. LOL
How about Nicolas Hayek? Granted, he didn't tell the government what to do, but he often bawled out the entire Swiss industry for their lack of innovation. He did it even without getting paid for it, and he got a lot of approval from the populace.
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Old 02.10.2011, 06:45
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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A woman of immigrant origin (Greek, who married an American, got citizenship, etc) criticizes the leadership of the country, discusses basic business morality, criticizes cultural norms, etc). She also has an obvious accent. She is the owner of a major online news outlet (Huffington Post, which she might have sold actually...)

Is there are a Swiss version of this woman? Would Swiss people tolerate a woman with an obvious accent, who has no Swiss ancestry, criticizing the fundamental structure of Swiss society in Switzerland on television?



What about this guy? Indian born Muslim, American educate with fairly popular political show that regularly criticizes the U.S. on television (CNN: based on Atlanta).

He writes books called "The Post American World"



Or an Iranian (Persian)-British woman leading one of the top 3 Sunday Morning news shows in America, Christiane Amanpour who regularly ciritiszes the U.S. government, political and economic culture, etc. In the video below, the second Muslim woman is a professor at New York University, but a Pakistani born Canadian. The only native born America on that panel is the white guy...



According to some Swiss folks on this site, these "damn ungrateful foreigners" should shut up and go back where they came from if they don't like it. They should have nothing to say about America.

As I said, foreigners criticizing America? So what? As long as they are honest, I think us Yanks are pretty used to it. We even pay them to do it.

What about you Swiss?

I cannot give an example of a woman of this kind, but they exist. But I can tell you about Nick Hayek that 200%-Lebanese who in reality is 50% Swiss and a Swiss citizen. He mentality-wise and about his looks is clearly 200% Lebanese. In the Zürich gastronomy scene there for decades was a very important woman of Russian origin with a heavy accent, and often rather critical positions. And accents ? Do not forget that a Zürcher in Basel or a Basler in Zürich has quite an accent ! And Ticino people often have a definite Italian accent. Which means that such things are not noticed really, but what is noticed is the ideas of the people in question.

People were talking about Tina Turner, NOT due to her accent or her origin but due to her criticizing people doing grilling on their balconies and terrorising people above
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Old 02.10.2011, 06:51
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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Why would anyone want to critize a country he or she has chosen to live in voluntarily? I mean, if one doesn't like the country one lives in and whose citizenship one has acquired, why not moving somewhere else which fits best one's opinion of what a fantastical country must be? Foreigners getting citizenship of the country they have chosen should always be grateful and respect the country they have been so warmly received in. And no, I'm not swiss, but I love this country.
Those mentioned did and do not criticize the country as such but generally either leaders or local methods. Productive criticizm can lead to improvements. Mr Hohmeister at Swiss International Airlines, whose "accent" is obvious, often criticizes things, but everybody knows that he is absolutely determined to IMPROVE things. His results are so clear that people have begun to respect both him and his positions.
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Old 02.10.2011, 06:56
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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But this is, in a nutshell, what makes America what it is...love it or hate it, you can show up from noballistan, in your birthday suit, folks will ask you where you're from, smile and offer you a beer. The EU spends more of its time defending its borders and states the size of Kansas claiming that they might loose their identity if they welcome outsiders. Can you imagine a bunch of folks from Kansas yelling at a bunch of Missourians to get off their land cuz, you know, they're not from Kansas? (Not that anyone wants to live in Kansas, mind, but in case they did ).

That's the fundamental bottom line difference between the US and the EU...we just don't get their feudalism/fiefdom-ism. It works for them, kinda, but it'd never work in the US.
A) What about the USA/Mexico border ? Open up and drop the defences and move ahead
B) Missourians into Kansas ? Maybe. But can you imagine how the Texans would react to either "sort" trying to get into Texas ?
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Old 02.10.2011, 07:50
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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Don't agree with this. I've never heard of a southerner refusing to buy beer from anyone.

Of course there are zenophobes everywhere, I think we are talking about trends.

And man you have some racist cousins, but I don't think that is a typical opinion. People have kind of chilled out about that--they don't even bat an eye about biracial couples etc. these days. I think the U.S. is a relatively tolerant place.
First off, xenophobe is spelled with an X, you horrible awful scary foreigner from over there, you.

Secondly, I think that Odile using an anecdote to argue the OP's anecdote is fair. Nobody's bringing facts into it, except AGWV alluding to some facts he saw somewhere. I've certainly experienced racism - my dad, actually, is quite impressively racist. And he's a northern boy.

Really, the only time I've ever experienced attitude problems from Swiss regarding foreigners were from the odd teenager or drunk hick. Not mainstream. Most of the locals I've met are open to intelligent discussion about changes, but they don't go in much for "you should fix your system because ours is better" sort of discussions.

Swiss aren't nearly as bad as the occasional loudmouth (loudkeyboard?) on this forum makes them out to be.
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Old 02.10.2011, 08:12
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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To the person who said that over 20% of people in the country are foreign, compared to 11% in the U.S...this is true.

But why? In Switzerland many foreigners are "C" permit holders, many second generation. In America if you are born there you are automatically a citizen.

I checked immigration rates per capita last year and posted them on this site somewhere. They are almost identical, Switzerland actually edges out the U.S. slightly. The issue is what happens to foreigners who get in.

It is easier to become a citizen, faster to get a green card...so the amount of "foreigners" by law decreases quite a bit. Also, my belief is, that more foreigners in the U.S. want to live and stay there, they settle and integrate (in their own way)...Switzerland has more transient foreigners who stay a couple of years and go home or to another job somewhere else.
You are missing the point. The USA may have 11% foreigners, but it consists of 98% immigrants.

Switzerland was founded in 1291. What was going on in the USA then? It wasn't until centuries later that the native Americans were all be wiped out as your ancestors subdued and mainly slaughtered them. If your ancestors weren't involved in the massacre, it is most likely they were not in the US yet.

The point that most from the "new world" miss is that Europeans are generally the "natives", still awaiting annihilation. Until 1945, we even tried to annihilate each other.

So the basis of your whole argument about foreigners criticising the USA / Switzerland is based on a misconception...
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Old 02.10.2011, 08:30
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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The EU spends more of its time defending its borders and states the size of Kansas claiming that they might loose their identity if they welcome outsiders. Can you imagine a bunch of folks from Kansas yelling at a bunch of Missourians to get off their land cuz, you know, they're not from Kansas? (Not that anyone wants to live in Kansas, mind, but in case they did ).
Brilliant example of American understanding of the rest of the world.
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  #33  
Old 02.10.2011, 09:17
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

Another very recent anecdote. Brilliant day yesterday in Morges at the Britihs veteran car show. sitting around my Grumpy's stall with other EF'ers- 2 chaps come along and start talking about 'back home in England' - the racists statements they came up with were truly unplesasant.

Some people are racists. In France, in the UK, in CH, in the US - pretty well everywhere. It is despicable, but not a particularly Swiss thing.

I really do not approve of the 'if there is anything you don't like, then just go home'. Of course foreigners are entitled to comment, criticize, etc- but as we all know there is positive, constructive criticism, and then there is constant moan, moan, moan- and why is this country not exactly like where I come from, with the same products, rules, etc. If somebody pretty well hates most of what their are experiencing in a country they moved to, then it is best if they come to the conclusion it is not for them. And go, for their own sake and happiness. I know many Swiss who just could not stand life in the UK, which they say a 'chaos' - and my advice was always to go back. Life's much too short to spend it where you don't feel comfortable, honest.

And of course contact with foreigners can indeed trigger improvements. And that is excellent. But turning Switzerland into 'little US' is not necessarily going to be an improvement (honest) - please ^^ It's happening already in my town - all the big and small stores in the town centre closing and moving to out of town shopping malls- as has happened in the US and then the UK.

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Old 02.10.2011, 09:27
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

A few things:

Hitchens and Huffington are absolutely loathed by a large segment of the population, and a "foreigner" like George Soros, for instance, has regular tv segments on news shows devoted to his supposed plot to take over the US and he's also the main scapegoat for modern antisemitism in the U.S. He is extremely hated. And, most importantly, these people are all US citizens and are offering legitimate, constructive criticism of the country they now choose to call home. This is a far cry from some entitled whiny banker here for an 18 month contract who thinks local bread goes stale too fast, doesn't care to learn a lick of German, and spends all his time on the internet justifying his shortcomings with other like minded expats. That's not constructive, that's just stupid.

The US has an organized, heavily armed citizen militia along the US' southern border, the goal being to stop illegal immigrants from Mexico with deadly force if need be. The level of bigotry and hatred towards Mexicans especially is unmatched here, and it's open and televised for everyone to see, as is the hatred towards gays. I've never heard anything of the like here on television,
or in private.

I love living here, I don't plan to move back, but I think there's plenty of improvement to be made and plenty of legitimate complaints to be made about
living here. However, I don't have much patience for complaints based on ignorance or entitlement (fresh bread going stale too quickly, no bagging at the grocery store), especially when those complaints come from people who have no intention of staying here in the long run. (or when those doing the complaining willfully ignore or misrepresent the horrible aspects of their own country when trying to make a point.)
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Old 02.10.2011, 09:29
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

Pointless thread:

America, founded a couple of years ago by some immigrants with strange hats, population 300 million:


Switzerland, founded before the fall of Constantinople, with a population of about 7 million:



What is there to compare?

For the record, I went to America once. I didn't like it very much. The cheese tastes weird.
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Old 02.10.2011, 09:40
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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A few things:

Hitchens and Huffington are absolutely loathed by a large segment of the population, and a "foreigner" like George Soros, for instance, has regular tv segments on news shows devoted to his supposed plot to take over the US and he's also the main scapegoat for modern antisemitism in the U.S. He is extremely hated. And, most importantly, these people are all US citizens and are offering legitimate, constructive criticism of the country they now choose to call home. This is a far cry from some entitled whiny banker here for an 18 month contract who thinks local bread goes stale too fast, doesn't care to learn a lick of German, and spends all his time on the internet justifying his shortcomings with other like minded expats. That's not constructive, that's just stupid.

The US has an organized, heavily armed citizen militia along the US' southern border, the goal being to stop illegal immigrants from Mexico with deadly force if need be. The level of bigotry and hatred towards Mexicans especially is unmatched here, and it's open and televised for everyone to see, as is the hatred towards gays. I've never heard anything of the like here on television,
or in private.

I love living here, I don't plan to move back, but I think there's plenty of improvement to be made and plenty of legitimate complaints to be made about
living here. However, I don't have much patience for complaints based on ignorance or entitlement (fresh bread going stale too quickly, no bagging at the grocery store), especially when those complaints come from people who have no intention of staying here in the long run. (or when those doing the complaining willfully ignore or misrepresent the horrible aspects of their own country when trying to make a point.)
This is absolutely brilliant. Totally agree, especially the bold part.
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Old 02.10.2011, 09:53
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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Pointless thread:

America, founded a couple of years ago by some immigrants with strange hats, population 300 million:


Switzerland, founded before the fall of Constantinople, with a population of about 7 million:



What is there to compare?

For the record, I went to America once. I didn't like it very much. The cheese tastes weird.
Sorry Mr. Breakfast, this analogy doesn't work. The cheapest store-bought orange juice in the USA is way better than the most expensive one in Switzerland. And apple pies were baked in Switzerland already thousands of years before Americans claimed them for themselves. So I'd take the apples for Switzerland and the oranges for the USA.
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Old 02.10.2011, 10:01
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

This is indeed a pointless thread, started totally on a wrong premise. All these so called "foreigners" with "accents" criticising the US are US citizens and in fact highly paid media personalities with huge followings, who are very visible. They are hired for their views, and because their shows are watched or their websites read not only the US but around the world, and because their views resonate with their viewers/readers.

I read Huffington Post or watch Farid Zakaria or Christian Amanpour ( not with CNN now by the way) not because of who/what they are but because of what and how they present and how that appeals to me.

Even is Switzerland if such shows or websites were to be started, they would be accepted or rejected for the presenters' views. I dont think anyone would take into account if the presenter was a foreigner with an accent.

The whole "foreigners with accents criticising their adopted country" sounds very contrived to me.
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Old 02.10.2011, 10:03
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

I think how long you plan to stay should play the biggest role in your criticism. My wife and I have no plans to leave. We are learning German and French. We feel like this is the place for us and our daughter and want to be part of a process that can make positive changes. If you are here for a year or two, then just relax, count the days and enjoy the parts you like about CH before you go back to where you want to stay.
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Old 02.10.2011, 10:15
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Re: What Would Be The Swiss Response

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A) What about the USA/Mexico border ? Open up and drop the defences and move ahead
B) Missourians into Kansas ? Maybe. But can you imagine how the Texans would react to either "sort" trying to get into Texas ?

America takes in as many immigrants per year (some years more) than Switzerland. Switzerland, like any sane nation would not open up its border to a poor crime ridden neighbor. We do have a fairly open border with Canada.

Americans are not anti-immigration in general (although some area) if you read carefully, they are anti-illegal immigration, mostly from South AMerica. You will rarely read an article about anti-Chinese immigration although they are in the top of immigrant countries.

We also have a visa lottery system which gives green cards (C permits) to (almost, but not quite) random people...for the sake of "diversity".

http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/acsbr09-15.pdf

look at pg. 2, 12.5% of Americans are foreign born (but as you know many of their kids are automatically citizens due to being born in the U.S., which is not true in Switzerland)...53.1% of immigrants in 2009 are from Latin America, 27.7% were from Asia...you can see further breakdowns below.

On Pg. 3 you can see 50% of all immigrants are Mexican. China is second but barely 5%.

Meanwhile Switzerland can't even deal (without 1/3 SVP vote) to having open borders with Italians, French, and Germans. This would be like the U.S. bringing in Brits and Canadians. I somehow think it would be much easier to bring in, integrate (if they want it) people from the UK and Canada, despite any cultural differences. As a society (on average) we are far more flexible with accepting and integrating foreigners.

That being said, some areas are not, but then again, most foreigners don't tend to go to those areas anyway. Most immigrants go to the East Coast, West Coast, and a bit to the certain larger cities in the Midwest, and Texas, Florida.
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