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Immigration to Switzerland - more problems or more prosperity?

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The initiative against the free movement of people requires Switzerland to regulate its own immigration. What exactly do foreign workers bring to a country? And what are the risks associated with immigration?

Reiner Eichenberger, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Freiburg, is convinced that immigration is doing more to Switzerland than it is good. The Swiss population is growing by around one percent every year. That means even more CO2, even more traffic jams and an even greater shortage of teachers.

The economist Eichenberger therefore advocates a different immigration policy: the free movement of persons must be reinterpreted, immigration should no longer be free, a kind of "visitor's tax for foreigners" must be found.

People should be able to come and pay a small fee for the first three to five years - twelve to 15 francs per day.
Author: Reiner Eichenberger University of Freiburg

“People should be able to come and pay a small fee for the first three to five years - twelve to 15 francs per day,” suggests Eichenberger. "We have very high costs from immigration - if only you could finally do the math correctly." And if potential immigrants are deterred by this measure, all you have to do is say “Yes, thank you!”.

Net immigration is decreasing

According to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs Seco, however, fewer and fewer people from the EU are coming to Switzerland. Net immigration has halved - mainly because more and more foreigners are leaving Switzerland.

You are going back home because the economic situation in the EU has developed more strongly than in Switzerland. But also because Switzerland has become overcrowded and unattractive, says Eichenberger.

Does Switzerland in particular benefit?

Fabian Schnell from the Avenir Suisse think tank is aware that the infrastructure in Switzerland cannot be expanded as quickly as the population is growing. However, Switzerland in particular benefits from foreigners from the EU because qualified specialists who earn and consume a lot will come, he is convinced. "Those who work here contribute to economic growth in Switzerland and generally pay above-average taxes," says Schnell.

Those who work here contribute to economic growth in Switzerland and generally pay above-average taxes.
Author: Fabian SchnellAvenir Suisse

"I do not consider it expedient to build in additional hurdles here." Without skilled workers from abroad, Switzerland would no longer be able to produce as much as it does today, says Fabian Schnell.

How important immigration is to Parliament was demonstrated on Monday afternoon in the discussion on the “Initiative against the Free Movement of Persons” in the National Council.

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  • Comment from Martin H. Meier (Mahame)
    Immigration is neither positive nor negative. Politics should consider / know / control a few points:
    -Number of people who immigrate (per year)
    - Whose identity, criminal record?
    -Health status
    -Training
    -are they needed in the country?
    -cultural background, religion etc.
    There are enough examples of successful / unsuccessful immigration policies. We should learn from it.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Beppie Hermann (A right green)
    It is possible that immigration from EU countries will fill the coffers. But on the one hand, in my opinion, our unemployed would finally have to be taken into account first (about 5.75% in mid-2018 bfs) In addition, I think that the asylum status for immigrants from third countries such as African or Oriental should be abolished, these would have to meet the same immigration criteria as others 3. countries. It is you, and it should be allowed to mention that, who empty our coffers in advance and increase the number of people.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Hanspeter Flueckiger (Hpf)
    a little less prosperity would be good, also because of climate change. But those who want to make a profit with this in the elections have no ears for it. They prefer to patronize their own people.
    Agree agree to the comment

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