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Old 14.10.2014, 01:46
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American professor denied Swiss citizenship

Einsiedeln (SZ) rejected the Swiss citizenship application of a 75 year-old retired American, who had been an chemical engineering professor at the ETH, due to lack of integration. According to 20 Minuten, his application was rejected specifically due to his lack of knowledge of local politics and geography although he passed tests of basic Swiss political knowledge and demonstrated sufficient German skills. Furthermore, his financial affairs were in order and he had a good reputation. He has lived in Einsiedeln for 39 years, raised three children there and taught and researched at the ETH for 30 years. The naturalisation commission stated it presumed that he was seeking citizenship for personal benefits and security, although it is not clear from the article whether this weighed on the decision. His CHF 3'600 application fee was not refunded:

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/zentrals...rgert-25550285
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Old 14.10.2014, 06:10
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Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisation.

A retired American professor tried to get a Swiss passport after living over 39 years in Switzerland. He
- has been teaching at ETH for 3 decades,
- has three adult children who grew up in the country,
- is part of various local clubs
- speaks German well enough
- good financial record
- no criminal record and locals recommending him for naturalisation

His request was turned down on the basis of lacking geography and local politics knowledge. (His friends apparently do not live in the village he lives in, he did not name the six next villages around his correctly and he was not aware of some local village politics topics). He will still have to pay 3600 CHF for the application and legal process.

He can bring his case to the court of canton Schwyz if he decides to fight his case.

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/zentrals...rgert-25550285
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Old 14.10.2014, 08:29
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

well that's a bit incredible. what is also incredible is that he doesn't know the villages around him, but he probably lives in a sleeper village around zurich am i rite? so no suprise him not knowing any1 too. Maybe for naturalization they ask too much local, in today's world one can have friends KMs away.
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Old 14.10.2014, 08:54
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

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well that's a bit incredible. what is also incredible is that he doesn't know the villages around him, but he probably lives in a sleeper village around zurich am i rite? so no suprise him not knowing any1 too. Maybe for naturalization they ask too much local, in today's world one can have friends KMs away.
Sort of, and I think that may be part of the problem. Einsiedeln is still well within commuting distance of Zürich (less than an hour by train) so this guy probably does think of it as an outer suburb - but it's far enough out that the Swiss don't consider it one.
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Old 14.10.2014, 09:15
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

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Sort of, and I think that may be part of the problem. Einsiedeln is still well within commuting distance of Zürich (less than an hour by train) so this guy probably does think of it as an outer suburb - but it's far enough out that the Swiss don't consider it one.
I understand and agree that there should be a test and in my eyes can the bar be set quite high: I think immigrants need to put an effort into learning the local language in order to really take part in social life (in Germany is the biggest group of immigrants Turkish and the fact that first gen men learn German at work while their wives can live in the country for decades without even minimal German is causing a parallel society which is bad). I also think it's important that any immigrant should understand the social and political system and within the democratic spectrum agree to the fundamentals. You should not just get a passport because it is convenient, you should identify yourself with the new country. 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?
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Old 14.10.2014, 09:20
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

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I understand and agree that there should be a test and in my eyes can the bar be set quite high: I think immigrants need to put an effort into learning the local language in order to really take part in social life (in Germany is the biggest group of immigrants Turkish and the fact that first gen men learn German at work while their wives can live in the country for decades without even minimal German is causing a parallel society which is bad). I also think it's important that any immigrant should understand the social and political system and within the democratic spectrum agree to the fundamentals. You should not just get a passport because it is convenient, you should identify yourself with the new country. 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?
Agree with you, but what surprises me at this particular case is the fact that he lived here for 39 years and only now did he apply for citizenship. Why now then, why at all?
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Old 14.10.2014, 09:21
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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?
Ah, but the question wasn't "shall we make him a Swiss?" (Or rather, it was but the Bund already considered that question and its answer was "sure, don't see why not".)

The question was, "shall we make him an Einsiedler?"
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Old 14.10.2014, 11:42
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

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I understand and agree that there should be a test and in my eyes can the bar be set quite high: I think immigrants need to put an effort into learning the local language in order to really take part in social life (in Germany is the biggest group of immigrants Turkish and the fact that first gen men learn German at work while their wives can live in the country for decades without even minimal German is causing a parallel society which is bad). I also think it's important that any immigrant should understand the social and political system and within the democratic spectrum agree to the fundamentals. You should not just get a passport because it is convenient, you should identify yourself with the new country. 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?
Because you become not just a citizen of CH but a "Bürger" of your village?
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Old 14.10.2014, 14:49
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

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I understand and agree that there should be a test and in my eyes can the bar be set quite high: I think immigrants need to put an effort into learning the local language in order to really take part in social life (in Germany is the biggest group of immigrants Turkish and the fact that first gen men learn German at work while their wives can live in the country for decades without even minimal German is causing a parallel society which is bad). I also think it's important that any immigrant should understand the social and political system and within the democratic spectrum agree to the fundamentals. You should not just get a passport because it is convenient, you should identify yourself with the new country. 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?
It's a bit idealistic to assume people need to know anything about their country to become citizens? I met a lot of people in switzerland that can't compare their system of government with others in the world because they know nothing about it.
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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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Old 14.10.2014, 22:40
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Re: American professor denied Swiss citizenship

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I understand and agree that there should be a test and in my eyes can the bar be set quite high: I think immigrants need to put an effort into learning the local language in order to really take part in social life (in Germany is the biggest group of immigrants Turkish and the fact that first gen men learn German at work while their wives can live in the country for decades without even minimal German is causing a parallel society which is bad). I also think it's important that any immigrant should understand the social and political system and within the democratic spectrum agree to the fundamentals. You should not just get a passport because it is convenient, you should identify yourself with the new country. 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?
Your statement is correct to an extend. Yes they came to work and yes the wives who were at home taking care of the family didn't integrate.

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(inappropriate comment removed but Nil's reply left)
Indeed. The government didn't do anything to help them integrate into the German society. It let them to themselves. What about German classes? Any kind of integration programs?

The next generations had the chance to go to school and learn the language, mix with German kids, etc. but frankly, I see also my nieces and nephews having little amount of german friends. Having a little friend telling you he can't play with you because his parents don't want him to play with turks is still very 2014.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 15.10.2014 at 00:24. Reason: quoted a comment that was removed
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Old 14.10.2014, 09:17
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

Just to take the opposite view - the naturalisation decision falls upon the local committee to decide, and the process takes many months. Was it also not incumbent on the guy to swot up about his local area as the questions would very likely be in this direction?

That said, it would not surprise me that the interrogation committee also did not know the names of neighbouring villages until they googled it 5mins before the interview.

Cheers,
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Old 14.10.2014, 09:21
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

39 years in Einsiedeln and doesn't know the neighbouring villages?

I sense health issues may be the true culprit, however, even this would be discriminatory. This case will be interesting to see how it's played out.
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Old 14.10.2014, 09:26
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Re: Retired ETH professor: After 39 years not integrated enough for Swiss naturalisat

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39 years in Einsiedeln and doesn't know the neighbouring villages?
I wonder whether some arrogance on his part didn't help his case?

I mean it would be quite difficult to argue why you didn't have much local geographical knowledge after so many years.
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Old 14.10.2014, 08:08
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Re: American professor denied Swiss citizenship

That's strange.

So he passed the national politics test but lacks knowledge of local politics?

and about geography. I suppose he has some MAJOR problems such as not knowing how many cantons in Switzerland, which canton he lives in and where is his canton capital... Something like this? Otherwise how can it be possible.
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Old 14.10.2014, 08:18
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Re: American professor denied Swiss citizenship

Probably petty mindedness on the part of the commune voters.

Mods we have a duplicate thread so I guess they need to be merged.

http://www.englishforum.ch/swiss-pol...ml#post2259112
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Old 14.10.2014, 13:40
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Re: American professor denied Swiss citizenship

After reading the full details offered by einsiedeln I find it incredible that he was denied citizenship after such a long time residing in switzerland and growing children and a family in switzerland. It seems like the local einsiedeln community has a personal issue with the guy.

I would guess that most Swiss people do not know the details about local politics, however rich people can come to switzerland and buy citizenship.

Again, this must be a personal problem between the local leaders in eisiedeln and the american Professor.




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Einsiedeln (SZ) rejected the Swiss citizenship application of a 75 year-old retired American, who had been an chemical engineering professor at the ETH, due to lack of integration. According to 20 Minuten, his application was rejected specifically due to his lack of knowledge of local politics and geography although he passed tests of basic Swiss political knowledge and demonstrated sufficient German skills. Furthermore, his financial affairs were in order and he had a good reputation. He has lived in Einsiedeln for 39 years, raised three children there and taught and researched at the ETH for 30 years. The naturalisation commission stated it presumed that he was seeking citizenship for personal benefits and security, although it is not clear from the article whether this weighed on the decision. His CHF 3'600 application fee was not refunded:

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/zentrals...rgert-25550285
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Old 14.10.2014, 14:48
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Re: American professor denied Swiss citizenship

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It seems like the local einsiedeln community has a personal issue with the guy.
Yep, that's normally the reason, and a good one.

Tom
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Old 14.10.2014, 16:23
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Re: American professor denied Swiss citizenship

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allowing this guy in is giving him a potentially very significant voice in local affairs. It's not unreasonable that they would like him to at least show an interest in what those affairs consist of.
I see what you're saying, but I don't really buy that. What if he'd already got citizenship in ZH and then moved there? Would they remove his little red book for not being integrated?

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In my book, not being able to list six friends in Einsiedeln already made him an Einsiedler (recluse). He evidently wanted to make it official.
Admit it; you only opened this thread to make that joke, didn't you?
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Old 14.10.2014, 15:10
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Re: American professor denied Swiss citizenship

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I would guess that most Swiss people do not know the details about local politics, however rich people can come to switzerland and buy citizenship.

.


Talking out of the back of your hat won't get us anywhere.


But please tell us more about these rich people who buy Swiss nationality.
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