11/29/10, "Swiss voters back expulsion of foreign criminals," BBC
"Swiss voters have backed a referendum proposal for the automatic expulsion of non-Swiss citizens for certain crimes.
- Around 53% agreed that those convicted of crimes ranging from murder to benefit fraud should be deported.
Fabrice Moscheni, of the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), which drew up the measure, said
- "people we welcome in Switzerland should respect the rules of this country".
But opponents said it was another example of increasing xenophobia.
The SVP was behind last year's referendum that
- imposed a ban on the building of Islamic minarets. That decision was condemned by human rights groups and foreign governments.
The SVP says immigrants to Switzerland are disproportionately responsible for crime. It points to the fact that
- more than 60% of prison inmates do not have Swiss nationality.
But opponents say the measures go too far. The children of immigrants do not automatically get Swiss citizenship, so the rule would mean sending some people who were born and brought up in Switzerland to countries they know nothing of.
- Convicts would serve their sentence in Switzerland first and then be deported without appeal."...
The Swiss government advised against the proposal, favored dealing with alien criminals on a case by case basis, but their measure was rejected by the people.
(continuing, BBC): "A second referendum, which asked the Swiss to approve a minimum tax rate of 22% for people earning more than 250,000 francs (£160,000; 190,000 euros),
- was rejected.
The Socialist Party said it would be more just, but the government and centre-right parties said it would harm the economy by making the country less appealing to foreign businessmen."