Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Swiss to vote on tightening of asylum law, again  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 06/06/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Arab News) The Swiss will vote Sunday on whether to approve an emergency tightening of the country's asylum law in a bid to stem the influx of refugees to the wealthy Alpine nation.
A controversial revision, which was ordered as an emergency measure by the government and went into effect last October, marked the seventh change of the asylum law in Switzerland - Europe's fourth most popular destination for refugees.

The vote on June 9, one of four Sunday's this year set aside for popular votes on national, cantonal and communal issues as part of Switzerland's famous direct democratic system, comes after a range of opponents of the revision collected the 100,000 signatures required to call a referendum.

Also on Sunday, the Swiss will be called to vote on whether the people should elect the country's seven government members directly instead of having Parliament pick them, as it has been doing for the past 165 years.

According to recent polls though, that initiative appears set to fail.

Opponents of the new asylum law revisions, including human rights advocates, religious groups and unions who have banned together a collective called "Coordination against Exclusion and Xenophobia," also appear destined to fall short in their bid to overturn the changes.

Surveys show the Swiss are increasingly leaning towards giving their stamp of approval to the changes, as some balk at soaring numbers of refugees flocking to the small Alpine nation, which offers generous hand-outs throughout the asylum process.

A poll by public broadcaster RTS in late May showed that 57 percent of those questioned were in favour of the revisions, up nine percentage points from a month earlier.

There are currently some 48,000 people in the process of seeking asylum to Switzerland, including a full 28,631 who arrived in 2012 -- the highest number in a decade.

Only 11.7 percent of asylum applications were meanwhile granted last year, when most asylum seekers to the country came from Eritrea, Nigeria, Tunisia, Serbia and Afghanistan.

Counting one asylum seeker for every 332 inhabitants, Switzerland ranks as the fourth most popular host country in Europe, trailing only Malta, Sweden and Luxembourg, and ranking far above the European average of one asylum seeker for every 625 inhabitants.

Among the most controversial changes to the Swiss asylum law last year, was the decision to remove persecution due to military desertion as legal grounds for seeking asylum in Switzerland , a motive mainly used by Eritreans.

The revision also removed the possibility, which had been unique in Europe, to apply for asylum in Switzerland from Swiss embassies around the world.

That move revision has been harshly criticized by the Swiss Bishops Conference, which stressed recently it would force people "to pay intermediaries and to embark upon high-risk trips" to make their way to Switzerland.

The bishops also said the revisions would mean people in real need of assistance would be rejected.

"Behind every statistic there hides the destiny of men and women," it said in a recent statement, insisting that "no one leaves their country of their own free will without knowing what the future in another country or continent has in store."

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga, who is in charge of the brief, however insists the changes were for the best of the asylum seekers themselves.

She especially highlighted the speeding-up of the application process aimed to bring handling times down from several years to several months by removing the possibility of multiple appeals.

"Leaving people and their families for so long wallowing in uncertainty is unacceptable," she said recently, insisting that "processes that drag on and the asylum-seeker tag blocks rapid integration."

The rejigged asylum law also clears the way for the creation of special centres for asylum seekers considered to be trouble-makers and limits the right to family reunification to spouses and children.

As for the second issue to be voted on Sunday, it was proposed by Switzerland's largest party, the populist Swiss People's Party (SVP), which insists that allowing the electorate to choose its leaders directly would strengthen the government's legitimacy.

All the other political parties have however come out against the initiative, maintaining it would weaken Parliament, and a recent poll showed only 25-percent support for the shift among voters.

 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Jan 28 2015 - Gulf states to rethink monetary policyMENAFN
(MENAFN) Gulf Arab oil states may need to rethink longstanding economic policies, including their fixed exchange rates, over the next five to 10 years as economic cycles in the region and the US ...

 Jan 28 2015 - DIB picks arrangers for potential Tier 1 sukukKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai - Dubai Islamic Bank, or DIB, said on Tuesday that it picked eight banks to arrange roadshows from January 8 for a potential benchmark size dollar-denominated sukuk ...

 Jan 28 2015 - What next for Londonium and Barclays?Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) I have tried to visit Britain on the eve of every general election since the end of the Thatcher era (by Tory regicide, not the ballot box) in November 1990 in search of ...

 Jan 28 2015 - Emirates NBD - holding the banking fortKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The banking industry looks set to sustain positive trends this year due to strong macroeconomic economic indicators, sufficient liquidity and low interest rates in the ...

 Jan 28 2015 - China pumps cash into banks in a bid to accelerate growthKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Beijing - China's central bank has bolstered support for the cooling Chinese economy by injecting another 50 billion yuan ($8.1 billion) worth of short-term loans into banks ...

 Jan 28 2015 - Union National Bank posts 16% jump in annual earningsKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) People walking past a Union National Bank branch in Dubai. The total assets of the UNB Group increased by seven per cent in 2014 to Dh93.5 billion as at December 31, 2014. - ...

 Jan 28 2015 - Gulf Arab countries may need to rethink policy: Qatari bankerKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai - Gulf Arab oil states may need to rethink longstanding economic policies, including their fixed exchange rates, over the next five to 10 years as economic cycles in ...

 Jan 28 2015 - GCC retail sector on growth pathKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai - GCC retail sales are expected to grow at a 7.3 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2013 and 2018 to reach $284.5 billion, according to Alpen ...

 Jan 28 2015 - Dubai International airport crowned as world's busiestKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The airport's passenger numbers boosted by 6.1 per cent to 70.5 million in 2014 and pushed the Heathrow down to the second position as London's top airport handled 68.1 ...

 Jan 28 2015 - Sharjah's Dh17.7b budget to ensure economic upliftKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Sharjah - His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, on Tuesday approved the 2015 general budget of the emirate ...

more...


 






Google

Electronic & Mobile Payment

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help