Swiss vote on immigration quotas

I normally don’t comment on politics since it isn’t relevant to practical advice on living in St.Gallen, but this is an interesting topic and does have direct relevance to many people in the city or considering moving here.

I was really surprised when the Swiss voted to bring back immigration quotas for European citizens and also, as a consequence, most likely withdraw from the Schengen agreement that allows visa-free travel around Europe. It was already hard for non-EU citizens to get jobs and permits here, but now it is going to be hard for Europeans as well.

What was interesting was that St.Gallen was one of the cantons that voted most strongly in favour of limiting migration (see graphic below). I was really surprised about this as the canton and city derive lots of benefits from the many international companies in the Rhein valley and from a well known international university that relies partly on income from international students.

In particular, I know lots of people who came to Switzerland to study, in spite of the high costs, partly with the aim of securing employment here after graduation. This was already tough, but now it is going to be very unlikely for many foreign graduates, especially those from outside of the EU.

Screenshot from Swissinfo.ch

Screenshot from Swissinfo.ch

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One thought on “Swiss vote on immigration quotas

  1. Pingback: El “SI” de los suizos a limitar la inmigración: ¿cuestión económica o cultural? | Living la vida en Suiza

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