Swiss Ecopop Group Forces Immigration Referendum

BBC News, November 2, 2012

A group of Swiss environmentalists has collected enough signatures to force a national referendum on immigration.

The Ecopop group says natural resources are under increasing pressure from overpopulation.

It wants annual population growth through immigration capped at 0.2% and a tenth of foreign aid to be used for birth control measures abroad.

Switzerland now has a population of eight million people – almost a quarter of them foreigners.

Ecopop gathered a petition with 120,700 certified signatures – easily passing the 100,000 threshold needed for a referendum on the proposed new law.

“The pressure on land, nature and the countryside is considerable, and quality of life is continuously deteriorating due to a lack of living space,” said Ecopop member Philippe Roch, a former director of the Swiss environment department.

The group insists it is opposed to all forms of xenophobia and racism but says Switzerland must limit immigration to avoid urbanisation and to preserve agricultural land.

Under the Swiss system of direct democracy, referenda take place up to four times a year.

Correspondents say the initiative reflects growing concern in Switzerland about overcrowding. The population has risen by some 15% since 1990.

In April, the Swiss government agreed to re-impose immigration quotas on workers from central and eastern EU countries – a decision criticised by EU officials.

Until 2011, Switzerland had a quota of 2,000 residency permits per year for citizens of the so-called “A8″ nations, which joined the EU in 2004.

The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which blames rising rents and crowded transport on immigration, has also gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on tougher immigration quotas.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YL6T3BJRP7N3DDTPORHM2J2GFQ Chris R; Something Clever

    Another reason to love Switzerland. 

    Environmentalists are a good weapon against mass immigration.  And the liberal “going green” dilettantes can be discredited when they refuse to support lower immigration quotas.

    • The__Bobster

      No, they’re terrible weapons. They look the other way when the squat monster invaders trash our border areas and pollute and set fire to our national parks.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/7RORAJVG7LJJZECDJIILHJBE7U So CAL Snowman

         Chris meant ACTUAL environmentalists, not the liberals from the local UC who squawk about global warming while driving 10 minutes to Star Bucks in their SUVs for a $4.00 cup of coffee.

    • anarchyst

      EnvironMENTALists see humanity as a pestilence (except for themselves).  They would like to see most of humanity penned up in soviet-style high-rise apartments in cities while they alone would have “nature” all to themselves.   They are like watermelons–“green” on the outside and “red” (communist) on the inside.   It’s not about environmentalism, but CONTROL.
      I would LOVE to see civilization collapse, if only to see the environMENTALists be the first to perish.
      I have no use for these limp-wristed, birkenstock-wearing, prius-driving hypocrites.  They can all go to hell. . .

      • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

         I’ve lived in former Yugoslavia and I can tell you that the reason for those apartment buildings is that the countries are small and the farm land comes right up to the city limits.  We are used to room and so we spread out.  All of Europe is very much like this as well.  If they had the sprawl style we have here, there wouldn’t be any farmland or forests left at all.  The other reason for them is that they are incredibly efficient.  I lived in one and it wasn’t bad at all.  The lifestyle gets you out and walking, downtown or out to the countryside.  Ski slopes were near and so were hiking trails.  Historic spots were everywhere you looked and it was possible to go to a different fascinating place every weekend with history going from archeological digs into the prehistoric past to whatever period of history you wanted to focus on.  People take part in festivals, both Christian and even some that pre-date Christianity.

        While in America, people spend most of their time in front of their tvs and/or computers, and I guess on their “insert latest device.”

        • anarchyst

          Thank you for your insightful comments.  You are correct about things being more “cramped” in most European countries.  You can bet that the “elite” have their “country estates” that are denied to most average European citizens.   The “sprawl” that you disdain is what makes America what it is today (and more desirable).  I (and most other Americans) have no intention of  emulating European ways of doing things (along with the restrictions on freedom) that the European “lifestyle” entails.
          I, for one like the ability to get in my car (with reasonable fuel prices) and go wherever I want without being saddled by train and bus timetables and schedules.
          I do take issue with your stereotyping Americans as those “in front of their TVs and / or computers”.  I for one, am thankful that I own acreage and live a nice country lifestyle . . .
          With all due respect, sir, if Yugoslavia is so wonderful, maybe you should go back there . . .
          As always, best regards,

          • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

             Of course the “why don’t you go live there” comment was planned on and expected. 

            I found that Europeans generally have as much freedom and sometimes more because they tend to live cheaper and often with multiple generations in homes that have been in the family for generations, so they travel and recreate more.  My best friend in Slovenia just moved into a beautiful home that he built himself over eight years and is PAID FOR – NO Mortgage.   He has acres of opened land on every side, he just doesn’t own it all.  He isn’t rich either and he has been battling cancer at the same time as well as raising two kids with his young wife – who also works.  Europeans are generally more welcomed in other countries because they don’t act like jerks and go on about the virtues of America to anyone they can corner.  It’s usually pretty easy to spot Americans abroad because of their size, the sloppy ways they dress, and the the loud voices, although this is a characteristic shared by Russians as well.

            Let me ask you this; with all your acreage and gas powered toys, how’s your weight? Just a mite obese?   I see how much time you spend commenting on Amren on the computer, so just how much time do you spend walking around and your domain or getting some healthy habits formed and practiced? 

            America is doomed for many reasons, but one of them is that your kids are going to get diabetes and die of chronic diseases because of the lifestyle of the typical American and now the typical American youth under 30 (even 40).  That means that immigrants will one day OWN your estate, cowboy.

            I have often wondered why I came back here myself.  Life was nicer there, but I had family and duties here.  Going back now is not so easy, so I remain here to remind people like you that you aren’t all that, and living in a delusion of grandeur.

            Best to you, anyway.  We may find ourselves shoulder to shoulder someday, facing the Zulus.

          • anarchyst

            Hello,
            Thank you for your kind response. 
            I am not what you presume the “typical American” to be . . .I am in good physical condition (despite your assumptions otherwise) and actually enjoy physical labor.   
            It is certainly no secret that Europeans can afford their lavish socialist “benefits” because they come under the American defense “umbrella”.  Not only do we provide your defense, we actually PAY  for the military bases that your governments RENT to us.   Let’s not forget about the two world (European) wars that we spilled  American blood for.
            I agree with you that there are boorish Americans that give us a bad name when we visit your countries, (not all of us Americans are like that) BUT, these same boorish Americans are ALWAYS at the ready whenever there is a natural disaster  anywhere in Europe or the world,for that matter.  Yes, we are “cowboys” and proud of it. . .I would not have it any other way.
            I would like to add that if I emigrated to France or Italy, I would still never be considered a “Frenchman” or Italian”, no matter how fluent I were in the language or length of residency.    America is the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD where ANYONE of any culture can become a citizen and call themselves an (unhyphenated) AMERICAN.   
            I don’t expect Europeans or any other culture to understand our American  independent streak,  natural “disdain” for authority(and the elimination of the European “caste” system,  but I do respect you viewpoints and look forward to intelligent discussion.
            As always, best regard,

            As an afterthought, I recommend that you google “the American” narrative by Canadian “Byron McGregor” which is available on youtube.  You might gain some insight into what it means to be an AMERICAN.

            .

          • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

             Nice that you are such an exception to the norm for rural dwellers in America.  Congratulations on your physical health.

            Actually, I don’t expect anyone to admit their weight online.  How can we really know?  But I was speaking not in specifics but in  generalities base on national statistics.  I am familiar with them because I am a retired doctor.  Here’s one for you, physical labor isn’t necessarily what the body needs to be healthy.  The body requires cardiopulmonary exercise, from things like running for periods of time and strength training that is gained from things like actual weight training.  Digging post holes and chopping wood are okay, but not found to be actually heart healthy or preventative.  In fact, they are more likely to cause the development joint and other NMS problems.   If you don’t eat the typical “cowboy” diet, you may actually be doing yourself some good.  If you actually ride a horse, then you are taking an activity that is actually more dangerous than riding motorcycles.

            Speaking of making assumptions, you make the assumption (or accusation) that I am not an American citizen.  I was born here and I have ancestry in North America going back to 1630 and 1756.  I am a cousin, seven times removed from General Robert E. Lee.  I am merely better educated from having lived and worked (as a private citizen in a country of former Yugoslavia) for several years in the late 1990s and traveled in 14 countries in Europe.  I grew up in the American West hunting and fishing and sometimes have even worn a cowboy hat.  Some people simply have more than one dimension to them.

            Here’s another wake up for you; I could have become a citizen there if I have stayed a little longer.  I left just before gaining permanent residence.  Of course, marrying a citizen would have been the easy way (I had many chances), but I wasn’t interested in staying at that time.  European countries are full of naturalized citizens, so the U.S. isn’t the only country in the world that allows naturalization, this is one of the myths that some Americans seem to believe along with the “freedom” claims.  The fact is, it traditionally just attracts more because here you can get away with more due to long established ethnic communities since immigration here has been going on at the scale it has for so long (i.e., its entire history).  There are no laws to protect ethnic Americans because there are no real “ethnic” Americans.  And now that whites are becoming a minority, we are increasingly being called, “Anglos” or Euro-Americans.  I notice the BBC referrence non-ethnic Britons as British citizens all the time.  So what are you talking about?

            In the U.S. our style of lawmaking is traditionally a “catch up” style to contain  abuse whereon in other,older countries, modern cultures inherited some laws and traditions from older civilizations, all of which are not so bad.  America has always attracted the opportunists due to the historical plethora of land and business opportunities up for grab and laws that encouraged exploitation as business as usual preferences.  Older countries often developed laws to contain this due to a longer history of exploitation by outside entities, wars and monarchs.

            BTW, I have often found myself in arguments with my European friends over issues like NATO and how our taxes pay for so much of their comfort.  It’s not so clear cut.  Anytime Europeans would lecture me too much about how wonderful they were and how nice their life was compared to ours, I would remind them of how our defense umbrella has protected them.  But they usually don’t buy into the necessity for it from about 1965 on.  That the U.S got tangled up in “European wars” (they were actually world wars, especially the second one) was more due to our leadership and industry (which made lots of money) than anything else.  Recall that Eisenhower warned us of too much reliance on it in his farewell speech in 1961, but we ignored it.  “We” being our politicians and military that needed to try to keep the idea of a dependent Europe in order to justify their budgets and military spending.  The Vietnam War has been well proved as an extension of this policy to the breaking point.  Today, our volunteer military is little more than a huge social state in uniform inside the state, paid for by you and me.  The cost of it and its phoney wars keeps us from many well deserved benefits.  We may be running out of money for SSI and Medicare, but we’ll never be out of money for the military social state we have.  (If you haven’t noticed, it’s a core PC organization and multiculturalism is at its core.  It still depends on naive white boys from the rural regions to do the real fighting and dying, but we’re running out of those, too).

            Yes, Europe is going broke, but not because of it’s social systems, but because it, like us, has too many unproductive foreigners to support.   Foreigners who after a time, become naturalized citizens just as they do here.  You obviously haven’t been around and are not all that well read.

            I found many Europeans to be very independent people, especially the French.  They argue about everything among themselves just as we do.  The Balkan Europeans are VERY independent, maybe more than Americans because they had to live under Ottoman Turk oppression for so long 500 years).  You accuse me of generalizing, but I think you are indulging far more in it than I.

            But even after all of this, we have got to figure out that we are cornered together as whites and particularly as white men.  We may differ a bit, and I certainly don’t put much importance on American identity any longer because it has been taken away from us.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/YL6T3BJRP7N3DDTPORHM2J2GFQ Chris R; Something Clever

        Just consider the fact that they want to stop mass immigration and send birth control to the third world.  Sounds good to me…  No one will agree to be penned in a Soviet-style blocks, that would be going too far.

      • http://www.facebook.com/carolyn.d.johnson.90 Carolyn Davis Johnson

        I think the enemy of our enemy is our freind.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SGDRDPUZLH2ESKW6LEVJY7UXZQ Robert

    Obviously, there is only one acceptable way to deal with overpopulation in Switzerland — forcible sterilization of the white swiss males ….

  • Nicholai_Hel

    Swiss environmentalists worry that darker skin people will attract more sunlight, thus melting glaciers.

  • potato78

    “Another reason to love Switzerland. ”

    Really?????????????????

    The country is a full of bankers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=AbaNGU1CrXI&feature=endscreen

    • Sherman_McCoy

      And Basel is full of Africans, Indians, and other third worlders.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MXTYFQZUWU2C7Q6WAHYPNNHCNU David Brims

    African immigrant in Switzerland, it’s just wrong, isn’t it ? He’s amazed at the time keeping of the tram, well it’s genetics, the Swiss, Germans, Austrians are famous for time keeping.

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zy36KnSOJI

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MXTYFQZUWU2C7Q6WAHYPNNHCNU David Brims

     African immigrants bringing drugs into Switzerland.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiZxO6dqMps

  • IstvanIN

    We could have saved America decades ago without being explicitly racial by focusing on the environment, the economy, and especially after 9/11 security.   It would have been good for whites, good for America, and amazingly, good for blacks!

  • DelmarJackson

    I am an environmentalist but do not belong to any organization anymore as none of them wil publicly come out for less immigration. When I talk to members of the Green party, they tell me the reason they are for massive immigration to the USA is because the USA has foreign policies that cause poverty in foreign countries and it is Americas fault we have immigrants coming here.

     When i I tell  we may have bad foreign policies that harm others, but most immigrants have jobs they leave behind, jobs they had  to earn money to get here, or ask them how massive immigration that is depressing local poor peoples wages will hurt those americans in charge of foreign policies, then they have no answer.

     A lot of people do not know but the Sierra Club was paid over 100 million to never talk about the danger of immigration to our environment again.

  • potato78

    “has collected enough signatures to force a national referendum on immigration.”

    “500,000 marks for a piece of bread. This is time for a revolution.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXDCM-afCCw&feature=related

  • JDInSanDiego

    I’ve been using the environmental argument for years here in San Diego.  We hear constant whining and warnings regarding over-development, air pollution and scarce water, yet the mayor of this city, who is also our former police chief, supports San Diego being a sanctuary city for illegals.  Meanwhile, he warns us in commercials to conserve water otherwise there’ll be rationing. How about we just get rid of the illegals and end legal immigration and save the earth?

  • JackKrak

    American liberals will support the right of Mexicans to enter the US before they will ever support the right of Americans to decide if they want to import half of the third world.

    The other half, I mean.

  • Strider73

    Switzerland’s initiative/referendum system is great, but it can cut both ways. In 2002 a leftist  referendum (which barely passed) forced the country to join the UN. Last year a coalition of women’s groups forced a gun-grab referendum, which fortunately was defeated. There need to be certain fundamental principles which are not subject to a referendum, which means those who disagree with those principles should leave the country.

    The article is somewhat misleading about the foreign population in Switzerland. According to Wikipedia, 60% are from elsewhere in Europe, so unlike the US the country is definitely not a Third World dumping ground. Also, EU complaints are nothing but hot air as Switzerland is not an EU member.

    I’m glad the SVP is supporting this referendum. Their artists have created spectacular campaign posters over the years, which helped enact a ban on additional minarets and defeat that gun grab. With their help, the measure will likely pass.

  • Strider73

    Switzerland’s initiative/referendum system is great, but it can cut both ways. In 2002 a leftist  referendum (which barely passed) forced the country to join the UN. Last year a coalition of women’s groups forced a gun-grab referendum, which fortunately was defeated. There need to be certain fundamental principles which are not subject to a referendum, which means those who disagree with those principles should leave the country.

    The article is somewhat misleading about the foreign population in Switzerland. According to Wikipedia, 60% are from elsewhere in Europe, so unlike the US the country is definitely not a Third World dumping ground. Also, EU complaints are nothing but hot air as Switzerland is not an EU member.

    I’m glad the SVP is supporting this referendum. Their artists have created spectacular campaign posters over the years, which helped enact a ban on additional minarets and defeat that gun grab. With their help, the measure will likely pass.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NQHEAYZCMBOERHG2VZRDQ3YUSQ Felix

    Given the quality of our leaders, (just look at any of the Bushes and Obama, Gore, etc.), and it’s clear that we are, in fact, an idiocracy.

    Everyone, (politician, clergyman or poolboy. etc.), who wants to increase immigration into this country, now already overburdened, should be regarded by their fellow citizens as traitors, for they do greater damage to the country than if they had surrendered it to a military conqueror.

  • MarcusTrajanus

    ” The group insists it is opposed to all forms of xenophobia and racism” I couldn’t have done without that silly line, but, as a lifelong environmentalist, I’m glad to see an environmentalist group taking a sane stance on immigration for once.