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  #21  
Old 30.10.2008, 11:19
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

Surely, EU citizens who have B permits would either lose those permits or not have them renewed if the referendum is passed, regardless of how the EU reacts.
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  #22  
Old 30.10.2008, 18:27
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Surely, EU citizens who have B permits would either lose those permits or not have them renewed if the referendum is passed, regardless of how the EU reacts.
I thought it was only about Bulgarians and Romanians. Now that you ask, I am unsure. The ballot papers have not yet come. As soon as I get them, I will read the fine print ...
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  #23  
Old 30.10.2008, 20:08
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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I thought it was only about Bulgarians and Romanians. Now that you ask, I am unsure. The ballot papers have not yet come. As soon as I get them, I will read the fine print ...
Have you forgotten the long discussion about whether to have two separate questions (prolongation of existing agreement as one question; extension as another) or a single combined one? Originally the lower chamber wanted two separate questions, the upper chamber one, and that is how it ended (one question).
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  #24  
Old 30.10.2008, 20:46
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Have you forgotten the long discussion about whether to have two separate questions (prolongation of existing agreement as one question; extension as another) or a single combined one? Originally the lower chamber wanted two separate questions, the upper chamber one, and that is how it ended (one question).
Thanks for the reminder.

If we vote NO, then it would be an earthquake. The impending recession, and unpleasant remarks from the German Finance Minister, are accentuating the xenophobia.
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Old 30.10.2008, 23:58
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

A very harsh editorial in the TDG, L'inexorable glissade de Blocher, Google Translate at Blocher's inexorable slide. The punchline comes in the final paragraph (I have attempted to improve Google's translation somewhat):
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Today he gambled on reconnecting with his ignoble feelings and the base of his party. The economic future of the country? This is not his primary concern. After the tumble, we still him the fall.
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  #26  
Old 31.10.2008, 10:50
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

Thanks for your replies. To me, thie is a very important issues and I am surprised that more people are not discussing the issue on this forum.
I watched "10 vor 10" (swiss news programme) on TV last night and they said that if the referendum passes, the renewal of B permits for EU citizens would not be automatic. Would appreciate if anyone could add futher clarification to this.
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  #27  
Old 31.10.2008, 10:56
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

As a citizen of a new EU member country, I do not know whether I should cry then or have a bit of Schadenfreude :-)
However, the Swiss Integration ministry/office states on its web pages that voting against the continuation of free people movement would revoke/cancel bilateral agreements I from 1999 which are mostly about trade, I believe. That could probably impact Swiss economy.
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  #28  
Old 31.10.2008, 11:20
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

Well, the current status which applies to citizens of the 15 "older" EU states is planned to be in time applied to citizens of all EU countries (although I can understand that you are frustrated that this is not already the case).

If the referendum does pass, then getting a work permit in Switzerland will be equally difficult for all EU citizens.
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  #29  
Old 31.10.2008, 11:22
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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the renewal of B permits for EU citizens would not be automatic.
Part of the bi-lateral treaties between Switz. & EU covers free movement of citizens between them. In reality this means that you still need a B permit but it is somehow issued automatically; there are some rules but it is much more of a rubber stamp than previously.
If the referendum passes then the next steps are not defined. I assume the free movement treaties could be revoked; this would not take place overnight but would involve some negotiation. I also assume the Swiss government would delay as much as possible? For example, they are taking about 15 months to introduce no-smoking after that referendum passed.
After that I guess the existing B premits would be allowed to run until their individual renewal dates & then you would have to apply for renewal under the "old" rules. Probably they would introduce some sort of transitory phase with easier rules.
I suppose there is enough information in old posts here about the "old" rules. Something like you need to have a job with a job contract, you need some special skills & you need to show why a Swiss person would not be employed.

Finally do remember that the SVP has always stood against free movement & has been defeated in a number of referendums.

Marton
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  #30  
Old 31.10.2008, 11:27
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Part of the bi-lateral treaties between Switz. & EU covers free movement of citizens between them. In reality this means that you still need a B permit but it is somehow issued automatically; there are some rules but it is much more of a rubber stamp than previously.
If the referendum passes then the next steps are not defined. I assume the free movement treaties could be revoked; this would not take place overnight but would involve some negotiation. I also assume the Swiss government would delay as much as possible? For example, they are taking about 15 months to introduce no-smoking after that referendum passed.
After that I guess the existing B premits would be allowed to run until their individual renewal dates & then you would have to apply for renewal under the "old" rules. Probably they would introduce some sort of transitory phase with easier rules.
I suppose there is enough information in old posts here about the "old" rules. Something like you need to have a job with a job contract, you need some special skills & you need to show why a Swiss person would not be employed.

Finally do remember that the SVP has always stood against free movement & has been defeated in a number of referendums.

Marton
The bilateral agreements allow Switzerland an opt-out of immigration privileges in 2009. If the referendum decides on retracting "free movement of people", then it will become effective for all EU citizens in 2009. That may be good news for our US, Canadian, Australian and other non-EU friends. They will be on par with everyone else, instead of being ranked behind EU.
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  #31  
Old 31.10.2008, 11:30
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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A very harsh editorial in the TDG, L'inexorable glissade de Blocher, Google Translate at Blocher's inexorable slide. The punchline comes in the final paragraph (I have attempted to improve Google's translation somewhat):
The people who did not vote Mr B into the Bundesrat last time will not change their vote next time around plus there are more people to vote against him, Widmer-Schlumpf, Schmid, the BDP.
However for me he should stay in place & continue to cause rifts in the SVP. Voting against the proposed military budget does not endear you to right wing voters....

Marton
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  #32  
Old 31.10.2008, 11:48
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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The bilateral agreements allow Switzerland an opt-out of immigration privileges in 2009. If the referendum decides on retracting "free movement of people", then it will become effective for all EU citizens in 2009..
Only if the Swiss Government decides to invoke that opt-out clause; they may not be forced to unless the wording of the Referendum specifically requires that.

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That may be good news for our US, Canadian, Australian and other non-EU friends. They will be on par with everyone else, instead of being ranked behind EU.
True, but the Swiss anyway always had some sort of ranking for applications - it was never a level playing field. US has a similar approach I believe.

Marton
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  #33  
Old 31.10.2008, 11:50
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

There seems to be a lot of anti-german feeling in certain quarters and I can imagine that some Swiss who are not supporters of Blocher or the SVP may vote against prolonging the free movement of people in order to restrict the numbers of German immigrants. There are a lot of Germans working in lower skilled jobs (shop assistants, waiting staff etc.) and some less qualified Swiss may feel threatened by them.
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  #34  
Old 31.10.2008, 15:08
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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There seems to be a lot of anti-german feeling in certain quarters ........
Very much less than 14 years ago, my personal impression.

Marton
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  #35  
Old 31.10.2008, 15:38
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Very much less than 14 years ago, my personal impression.

Marton
Interesting to hea that. I'm not yet a full year here so I can't compare. Anything in particular happen 14 years ago?
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  #36  
Old 31.10.2008, 22:52
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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There seems to be a lot of anti-german feeling in certain quarters and I can imagine that some Swiss who are not supporters of Blocher or the SVP may vote against prolonging the free movement of people in order to restrict the numbers of German immigrants. There are a lot of Germans working in lower skilled jobs (shop assistants, waiting staff etc.) and some less qualified Swiss may feel threatened by them.
Some causes for anti German feelings:
  • Largest immigrant group. Massive immigration.
  • Capturing both well-paid (e.g. Professors, Doctors, Bankers) and less well paid (e.g. hotel) jobs.
  • Bullying, e.g. Germany restricting overflights from Zurich Airport.
  • Harsh words from German Finance Minister. He talks about whipping the Swiss for not completely disclosing details of Germans having Swiss bank accounts.
  • Germany based building contractors and other freelancers undercutting Swiss, so-called "dumping".
  • Swiss inferiority complex because the Germans obviously speak better German.
  • Alleged arrogance of the Germans.
  • Older Swiss have resentments from the World War.
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  #37  
Old 03.11.2008, 14:31
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Interesting to hea that. I'm not yet a full year here so I can't compare. Anything in particular happen 14 years ago?
Nothing special happened 14 years ago,
Just that when I first came here I had a lot of difficulty using Hoch Deutsch; people did not understand (or claimed not to). Now Hoch Deutsch is in use almost everywhere; shops, bars, garages, &&&.

I used to have German colleagues visiting Zürich & they preferred to use English when shopping/eating & such like. Now mostly Hoch Deutsch.

Also Swiss people then claimed that quality & choice was better here; now when I go over the border I see many Swiss cars in every shopping car park.

Marton
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  #38  
Old 03.11.2008, 14:42
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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.. Also Swiss people then claimed that quality & choice was better here; now when I go over the border I see many Swiss cars in every shopping car park.

Marton
Particularly after the EUR recently lost value, everything is much cheaper in France/Germany compared to Switzerland. The CHF has high buying power. Hence, the rush to shop across the border.
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  #39  
Old 03.11.2008, 14:58
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Particularly after the EUR recently lost value, everything is much cheaper in France/Germany compared to Switzerland. The CHF has high buying power. Hence, the rush to shop across the border.
Regardless of the exchange rate, the Swiss come over the border in droves to do their shopping. They can always claim back the sales tax, which involves filling in lots of green forms at the checkout and slowing down the queue for everyone else.
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  #40  
Old 03.11.2008, 15:03
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Particularly after the EUR recently lost value, everything is much cheaper in France/Germany compared to Switzerland. The CHF has high buying power. Hence, the rush to shop across the border.
What goes around comes around ...

Last year the fall of the franc kept the Swiss shoppers on their side of the border: Decrease in cross-border shopping?.
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