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  #21  
Old 19.12.2012, 15:46
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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The current situation in Portugal has meant hard times for my husband's cousins and Aunts/Uncles that are still there. Those with degrees and experience are now working in different careers that they had to start again in after loosing their job.
My wife's Portuguese colleague, a nurse, and her husband, a security guard, moved back to Portugal having lived several years in Switzerland.

They came back to Switzerland after less than year, the economic situation back home was so poor. She was able to find nursing work, but with awful pay, abut her husband struggled to find a job at all, even with him being a former policeman in Portugal.
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Old 19.12.2012, 16:20
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

I think there still are prejudices in terms of what kind of work Portuguese do here, that needs to disappear. That, and a certain type of lower ambition I have encountered, personally, with younger ones, but I think that will go soon, too.
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Old 19.12.2012, 20:52
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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We were told that Portuguese immigrants were the best foreigners when we arrived - clean, quiet and integrate well. People's perception has changed in the 10 years we have been here.

A friend called the local permit office about her husband's permit and they took one look at his surname and asked "what is the name of the building site?". She was quite peeved at the assumption and said "you mean bank" . Portuguese aren't just doing the cleaning and building jobs anymore

I don't agree that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified. I think, if anything, they are more qualified than previous generations. It could be that their qualifications aren't recognised here or they can't find/compete for jobs because of the language barrier.

The current situation in Portugal has meant hard times for my husband's cousins and Aunts/Uncles that are still there. Those with degrees and experience are now working in different careers that they had to start again in after loosing their job.
How have you seen thing change in the last 10 years? I'm not sure what you are saying? It's been exactly like that for more than 10 years. I was told 12 or so years ago that if I couldn't find a job I could be a cleaning lady like other Portuguese people.

My aunts and uncles are almost all retired now and on quite good pensions. Better than my mom's US pension. Let's see how long they lasts. My cousins and friends my age are also all doing well. So quite lucky. I only have one cousin who moved away. But that is because he is doing a Ph.d in France.

Over all not so much hardship in my circles, not yet anyway. Though clearly see what is going on in the country.

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miniMia I can assure you my comment was in no way meant to be unpleasant about Portuguese workers-
I didn't think you were being unpleasant. I just think you the exact point on another thread. No need to bring it back here. But I"m not the thread police. Anyone can post what they like.


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I think there still are prejudices in terms of what kind of work Portuguese do here, that needs to disappear. That, and a certain type of lower ambition I have encountered, personally, with younger ones, but I think that will go soon, too.
If the parents aren't the ambitious, the kids don't turn out that ambitious either. But I think that is not specific to Portuguese.
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Old 21.12.2012, 22:10
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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My OH is one of those Portuguese coming to CH to do those under-paid jobs no Swiss want. He's a cleaner in a big cleaning company, working crazy (and mostly illegal) hours for very little money.

But the situation in Portugal is dreary at the moment. The budget cuts are such that many many families are now well below poverty level. There's no jobs for people with a university degree, and Portugal has the lowest rate of kids who finish school without any diploma in all Europe.

Every week, friends from my OH's village call us to say they're coming to CH hoping for a better life. Some of them are attracted by the comparatively much higher wages here, forgetting that the cost of life is much higher too.

Some manage to dig their hole here and live a happy life. Others can't get even a barely decent job, can't get a place to live, and go back to their families.
Mr P.... in the house where I am is Portuguese, and he has a very large apartment, possibly a bit expensive for his salary as a plasterer (Gipser) but now has two or three sub-residents. The about 4 (out of 22) CH households and the Italian couple just above from here will give him "cover" in case of official enquiries !

Swiss industry btw. always profited from "returnees" as they were used to Swiss stuff for so many years, that they when back home did and do and will give preference for what they know.
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  #25  
Old 21.12.2012, 22:19
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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We were told that Portuguese immigrants were the best foreigners when we arrived - clean, quiet and integrate well. People's perception has changed in the 10 years we have been here.

A friend called the local permit office about her husband's permit and they took one look at his surname and asked "what is the name of the building site?". She was quite peeved at the assumption and said "you mean bank" . Portuguese aren't just doing the cleaning and building jobs anymore

I don't agree that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified. I think, if anything, they are more qualified than previous generations. It could be that their qualifications aren't recognised here or they can't find/compete for jobs because of the language barrier.

The current situation in Portugal has meant hard times for my husband's cousins and Aunts/Uncles that are still there. Those with degrees and experience are now working in different careers that they had to start again in after loosing their job.
Nobody says that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified. Their qualifications ARE recognized here, and you can find people of Portuguese origin even in high level positions. The language barrier of course exists, but exactly Portuguese as I can see are astonishingly good in overcoming the hurdle.
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  #26  
Old 24.12.2012, 10:42
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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Nobody says that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified.
Did you actually read the article??

"swissinfo.ch: A study published in November by the University for Applied Sciences in Zurich concluded that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified, rarely go to German lessons, and have "less chance of integrating". Is this a fair picture?"
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  #27  
Old 24.12.2012, 11:16
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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Did you actually read the article??

"swissinfo.ch: A study published in November by the University for Applied Sciences in Zurich concluded that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified, rarely go to German lessons, and have "less chance of integrating". Is this a fair picture?"


I Lausanne there are tons of them and yes, they don't seem to integrate very well... other than integrating in their own portuguese-neighbourhood, of course.
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Old 24.12.2012, 11:40
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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I Lausanne there are tons of them and yes, they don't seem to integrate very well... other than integrating in their own portuguese-neighbourhood, of course.
really? because i live in lausanne and have found that most of my neighbors who are portuguese have no issues with integration. and yes there are a lot of portuguese in lausanne, a lot of spanish and a lot of south american, many, i have found very well integrated and speaking fluent french and on and on. i am pretty impressed given other situations i have seen but then again i think why and how people leave has a lot to do with how and why they integrate
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  #29  
Old 24.12.2012, 11:52
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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Did you actually read the article??

"swissinfo.ch: A study published in November by the University for Applied Sciences in Zurich concluded that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified, rarely go to German lessons, and have "less chance of integrating". Is this a fair picture?"
It depends, is it like that? I think one would have to read the study to see if it was well conducted and the conclusions make sense.

It is only anecdotal reference, but I know several Portuguese people that are living for 30+ years in Switzerland now and still struggle to do anything that is more complicated than buying something in Migros. They have many friends and a big part of their family here and thus never had to integrate well (I don't blame them. They are lovely people, they just chose the tempting, easy way).

Their children on the other hand are very well integrated, speak usually two, sometimes three national languages perfectly. Many have their own, small businesses or went to university. They still have to serve as translators. It is a bit tragic, really. The dream of the parents was to go back on retirement, while for the children this is no option at all. So either the parents have to go back on their own living alone in a, now, foreign country or give up their dream. It is one of the reasons why I am for an enforcement of integration. In the end it is very important for everybody concerned. Neither Switzerland nor the immigrants have interest in parallel societies. It will cost money, but it is well spent.

I don't say it is more common for Portuguese, but without having read the mentioned study, how do you know it is not a fair picture? I know this phenomenon exists, the question is just to what extent.
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  #30  
Old 24.12.2012, 12:13
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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really? because i live in lausanne and have found that most of my neighbors who are portuguese have no issues with integration.
Apparently you don't go out around Flon and seen all those portuguese chavs
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  #31  
Old 24.12.2012, 12:28
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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I think there still are prejudices in terms of what kind of work Portuguese do here, that needs to disappear. That, and a certain type of lower ambition I have encountered, personally, with younger ones, but I think that will go soon, too.
That happens a lot in Canada too with the Portuguese there - I mean the lower ambitions. I don't know why because I know lots of super smart people from Portugal or with Portuguese roots.

Also, a friend of mine who is an anesthesiologist here says that she has never seen any group of people tolerate pain like the Portuguese do. They will come into the hospital with a horrible injury and say "It's ok, it doesn't hurt" and will want to go back to work immediately.
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  #32  
Old 24.12.2012, 14:48
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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Did you actually read the article??

"swissinfo.ch: A study published in November by the University for Applied Sciences in Zurich concluded that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified, rarely go to German lessons, and have "less chance of integrating". Is this a fair picture?"
That might be true in the German part, but it is not so in the French part. I found the article a bit biased to the German part. No surprise there though.

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Apparently you don't go out around Flon and seen all those portuguese chavs
Sure. We like to hang with other Portuguese people. But, that doesn't mean we are not integrated. We can speak the local language as well. This is true I think ever where in the world.

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That happens a lot in Canada too with the Portuguese there - I mean the lower ambitions. I don't know why because I know lots of super smart people from Portugal or with Portuguese roots.

Also, a friend of mine who is an anesthesiologist here says that she has never seen any group of people tolerate pain like the Portuguese do. They will come into the hospital with a horrible injury and say "It's ok, it doesn't hurt" and will want to go back to work immediately.
As I said above "low ambition" (whatever that means) is because their parents didn't go to uni and so they don't push their children to go. This is not only true for Portuguese people.

My parents and all my aunts and uncles went to university. So did I (MA), all my siblings and all of my cousins. There are even a couple of Ph.ds in there. PS, one of them is even a professor at the University of Toronto.
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:31
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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Apparently you don't go out around Flon and seen all those portuguese chavs
i spend a lot of time in the flon at the ejma and tbh they don't seem any different from the others in the flon.
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  #34  
Old 24.12.2012, 15:37
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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Sure. We like to hang with other Portuguese people. But, that doesn't mean we are not integrated. We can speak the local language as well. This is true I think ever where in the world.
AFAIK integration is not just a matter of speaking the local language - that need comes from granted from the moment you get to another country. It's a matter of trying to mix oneself with the local population, with the local culture and participate in local activities.
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:45
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

actually, the biggest issues with integration i have seen around here are with the english speaking community. i know a lot of people who have been here very long (15+ years) and still don't speak french. tbh i don't care whether they learn or not but i am not sure it's fair to speak about the portuguese, or any other community without bringing up the anglophones who certainly have a bubble of a world that often doesn't mix with the local community, for sure much less so (for whatever reasons) than others.
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  #36  
Old 24.12.2012, 19:38
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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AFAIK integration is not just a matter of speaking the local language - that need comes from granted from the moment you get to another country. It's a matter of trying to mix oneself with the local population, with the local culture and participate in local activities.
Integration does not in any way mean you have to completely erase your other culture.

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actually, the biggest issues with integration i have seen around here are with the english speaking community. i know a lot of people who have been here very long (15+ years) and still don't speak french. tbh i don't care whether they learn or not but i am not sure it's fair to speak about the portuguese, or any other community without bringing up the anglophones who certainly have a bubble of a world that often doesn't mix with the local community, for sure much less so (for whatever reasons) than others.
Not only that they they insist they "don't have to because everyone speaks English". Not one Portuguese person I know has even uttered those words.

And there isn't even an PortugueseForum.ch.
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Old 24.12.2012, 21:00
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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Did you actually read the article??

"swissinfo.ch: A study published in November by the University for Applied Sciences in Zurich concluded that Portuguese immigrants are less qualified, rarely go to German lessons, and have "less chance of integrating". Is this a fair picture?"
NO, to me, those folks of that university are simply an arrogant bunch. Of course, the average newcomer from Portugal IS handicapped by a, again by average, much lower education than what is standard in Central and Northwestern Europe. I cannot say whether Portuguese here go to German lessons, what I however CAN clearly say that almost all Portuguese I speak to in Zürich incl suburbs speak German well enough. What I also see is that most of them integrate fairly well. What those university-folks possibly mean by "integrating" is something also most Swiss citizens do NOT want.

What is "integration" ? There is a family from Kosovo here in the 2nd floor. The father and both of his sons (early school age) are enthusiastic members of the local football club. Is that integration ? To me, YES, it really is.

So, my conclusion is that what they paint is absolutely UNFAIR !!
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  #38  
Old 24.12.2012, 23:37
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

Can I ask one thing just to be clear.

Chuck Norris in 50s went to Korea, learnt Tang Soo do and Taek Won do.
Back to USA he opened 32 schools until 1974 and today...you know the story.

Integration means to collect the local culture, after 50 years?

For you, if i am Chuck Norris III, i go back to USA and become fat, eat burgers all day and talk bad about republicans?

Sorry but i want to understand
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  #39  
Old 25.12.2012, 02:38
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

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Can I ask one thing just to be clear.

Chuck Norris in 50s went to Korea, learnt Tang Soo do and Taek Won do.
Back to USA he opened 32 schools until 1974 and today...you know the story.

Integration means to collect the local culture, after 50 years?

For you, if i am Chuck Norris III, i go back to USA and become fat, eat burgers all day and talk bad about republicans?

Sorry but i want to understand
Everybody can be expected to get some understanding for the local culture, BUT to speak badly about the US-Republicans is not something bad at all
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Old 25.12.2012, 08:05
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Re: swissinfo.ch: Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

One question - why do in particular young portuguese show so many national insignia - such as the national coat of arms in XXL size on the back of their cars (with dark windows)? I even see it sometimes tatooed on some people ???



Aesthetically questionable and not precisely a sign of integration (I'm talking about cars with VD or GE plates here!).

OTOH, for other nationalities you also see the opposite extreme which is not better - (wealthy) foreigners visually over-adapting by sticking the village's coat of arms plus lots of CH / swiss cross stickers etc on their Range Rover - despite the fact they just moved over, don't speak the language nor have any relation whatsoever to that village except paying an overpriced rent there.

Last edited by sedebu; 25.12.2012 at 08:34.
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