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Old 13.10.2007, 11:29
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Far-right Swiss party divides nation on immigrant issue


The posters taped on the walls at a political rally here capture the rawness of Switzerland's national electoral campaign: Three white sheep stand on the Swiss flag, as one of them kicks a single black sheep away.

"For Greater Security," the poster reads.

The poster is not the creation of a fringe movement, but of the most powerful party in Switzerland's federal Parliament and a member of the coalition government, an extreme-right party called the Swiss People's Party, or SVP. It has been distributed in a mass mailing to Swiss households, reproduced in newspapers and magazines and hung as huge billboards across the country.

Foreigners, who make up one-fourth of the Swiss work force, complain that it is harder to get a job or rent an apartment without a Swiss passport, and that they endure harassment that Swiss citizens do not.

James Philippe, a 28-year-old Haitian who has lived in Switzerland for 14 years and works for Streetchurch, a Protestant storefront community organization, and as a hip-hop instructor, said he is regularly stopped by the police and required to show his papers and submit to body searches. He speaks German, French, Creole and English, but has yet to receive a Swiss passport.

"The police treat me like I'm somehow not human," he said.
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Old 13.10.2007, 18:04
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Re: Far-right Swiss party divides nation on immigrant issue

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