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  #41  
Old 03.11.2008, 16:25
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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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.
Aldi has automated the VAT refund process. Regular shoppers get a card, which is swiped at check out, and prints all the pertinent data on the cash slip. No more hand filling green forms. Refunds arrive via direct credit to any Swiss bank account.
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  #42  
Old 20.11.2008, 13:56
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

Anyone read the Tagesanzeiger today? Complaining about the number of Germans in Zürich. Various comments mention this as a reason to vote against continuing with the free movemnet of people from EU countries to Switzerland. We will know more in Feburary.
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  #43  
Old 20.11.2008, 14:06
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Anyone read the Tagesanzeiger today? Complaining about the number of Germans in Zürich. Various comments mention this as a reason to vote against continuing with the free movemnet of people from EU countries to Switzerland. We will know more in Feburary.
Not sure if the article in the Tagi is to be read as a complaint, more of a statement of facts. I don't have the article in front of me now, but if I recall correctly, one German lady who's been in CH for 8 years cringes when she hears a fellow countryman talking loudly in the tram on his mobile (so "typically German").
I only hope that the Swiss won't be so daft as to vote against the freedom of movement for EU-nationals
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  #44  
Old 20.11.2008, 15:32
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

Here's the article:

The number of German immigrants is breaking all records
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  #45  
Old 20.11.2008, 17:25
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

The blog comments, appended to the article, are more fascinating than the article itself. Apparently, there is a lot of resentment against the resident Germans.

And when the German Finance Minister talks of whipping Switzerland, then Swiss feelings towards Germans and Germany are more inflamed.
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  #46  
Old 20.11.2008, 17:28
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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I only hope that the Swiss won't be so daft as to vote against the freedom of movement for EU-nationals
We have a direct democracy. The Swiss electorate refers to itself as "the sovereign". Whatever the Swiss may decide, it cannot be qualified as "daft".
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  #47  
Old 21.11.2008, 11:47
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

What I liked most about this article is that it points out that many immigrants from Germany compete with the Swiss middle class for jobs and apartments whereas immigrants from the Balkans in general compete only with the swiss working class for less skilled jobs. The middle class are thus confronted directly with the consequenes of immigration as opposed to it being a phenonenom that they just read about in the papers now and then.
I have no doubt that the free movement of EU citizens is of benefit to Switzerland but Swiss who have lost out on jobs or flats to Germans or other EU nationals may feel differently.

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/12969458
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  #48  
Old 21.11.2008, 12:14
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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What I liked most about this article is that it points out that many immigrants from Germany compete with the Swiss middle class for jobs and apartments whereas immigrants from the Balkans in general compete only with the swiss working class for less skilled jobs. The middle class are thus confronted directly with the consequenes of immigration as opposed to it being a phenonenom that they just read about in the papers now and then.
I have no doubt that the free movement of EU citizens is of benefit to Switzerland but Swiss who have lost out on jobs or flats to Germans or other EU nationals may feel differently.

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/12969458
The present system privileges EU citizens, particularly from the core EU. It also penalizes citizens from the rest of the world. Americans, Australians, Canadians, Japanese, Malaysians, South Africans -- to name just a few -- are second class!

Would it not be fairer, neutral, humane, non-racist and generally preferable to treat all foreigners equally?
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  #49  
Old 21.11.2008, 12:20
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

Are you suggesting free movement of all people from all countries? In theory it is a quite logical consequence of the free movement of capital across international borders. In practice I don't see it happening.
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  #50  
Old 21.11.2008, 15:02
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

In today's Tages-Anzeiger there are articles about German migration on three pages (11-13). There is no sinister reason why TA writes about this evergreen. It's because a) the new statistics came out and b) TA held a podium discussion yesterday and c) it interests their readership. If you have time, why don't you buy a copy and fire up the online translator of your choice?
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  #51  
Old 21.11.2008, 18:47
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

yes, I have been following these stories. I don't think the Tagesanzeiger have any particular agenda, it's an easy story for them which easily grabs people's attention. It will be interesting to see if other media increase their coverage of this issue. 10 vor 10 recently featured a story on the number of Germans working in Swiss hospitals recently.
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  #52  
Old 22.11.2008, 17:34
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Are you suggesting free movement of all people from all countries? In theory it is a quite logical consequence of the free movement of capital across international borders. In practice I don't see it happening.
Not suggesting free unrestricted movements. That is not feasible. I can envisage that potential immigrants from all countries are assessed and permitted entry using the same yardstick for everybody.

The present Swiss system privileges EU immigrants. Why not treat everybody equally and ensure that the best and most deserving come to Switzerland?
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  #53  
Old 26.11.2008, 15:03
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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The present Swiss system privileges EU immigrants. Why not treat everybody equally and ensure that the best and most deserving come to Switzerland?
EU citizens are privileged due to the bi-lateral agreements which Switzerland has signed with the EU. If Switzerland and it's citizens will receive preferential treatment in whatever areas from the EU, then it's logical that the reverse also applies.
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  #54  
Old 26.11.2008, 20:36
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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EU citizens are privileged due to the bi-lateral agreements which Switzerland has signed with the EU. If Switzerland and it's citizens will receive preferential treatment in whatever areas from the EU, then it's logical that the reverse also applies.
You describe the present reciprocal arrangements.

In February 2009, the Swiss have an opportunity to decide whether they want that to continue. Or treat all immigrants equally and fairly.
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  #55  
Old 26.11.2008, 21:00
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

1) Possible revocation of some privileges granted by the EU to Switzerland through the bi-lateral agreements

2) all intending immigrants to Switzerland would have to be individually approved by Swiss authorities, thus increasing costs

3) less flexibility for employers, especially those hiring for lower skilled positions

4) loss of competitiveness of Swiss firms who need foreign skilled labour, due to longer processing times for work permits

5) less swiss influence in decisions taken by the EU which effect Switzerland

6) what about the large number of "Grenzgaenger"? If they have to compete with immigrants from all over the world, the demand for housing in Switzerland will increase (in an already expensive market in a small country with limited building land)

7) voting against continuing the present system will damage Switzerland's reputation in the EU, while not doing much to improve that reputation worldwide

8) I may think of some others.......
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  #56  
Old 26.11.2008, 21:22
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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1) Possible revocation of some privileges granted by the EU to Switzerland through the bi-lateral agreements

2) all intending immigrants to Switzerland would have to be individually approved by Swiss authorities, thus increasing costs

3) less flexibility for employers, especially those hiring for lower skilled positions

4) loss of competitiveness of Swiss firms who need foreign skilled labour, due to longer processing times for work permits

5) less swiss influence in decisions taken by the EU which effect Switzerland

6) what about the large number of "Grenzgaenger"? If they have to compete with immigrants from all over the world, the demand for housing in Switzerland will increase (in an already expensive market in a small country with limited building land)

7) voting against continuing the present system will damage Switzerland's reputation in the EU, while not doing much to improve that reputation worldwide

8) I may think of some others.......
The Grenzgänger (cross-border commuters) we have had for many decades; long before the EU was formed. Otherwise a very convincing list.

But voting is often an emotional and not a rational decision.
  • Swiss voters may be more worried about protecting their own jobs rather than facilitating the employers.
  • Smaller local businesses and the farmers like barriers protecting them from foreign competition.
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  #57  
Old 26.11.2008, 21:53
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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But voting is often an emotional and not a rational decision.
Indeed, that's what makes this issue so interesting.
We will see if any Blick or any other media outlet try to stir up fears of mass immigration from eastern european countries as an additonal factor in this debate.
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  #58  
Old 26.11.2008, 22:01
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Indeed, that's what makes this issue so interesting.
We will see if any Blick or any other media outlet try to stir up fears of mass immigration from eastern european countries as an additonal factor in this debate.
Mass immigration is unlikely. They could immigrate to core EU. More worrying is the criminality in BG and RO.
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