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Swiss nationalists resist plan for immigration cap

November 2, 2014

BERLIN (AP) — A proposal in Switzerland to put a fixed cap on the number of foreigners allowed into the prosperous country is meeting resistance even from the country’s main nationalist party.

Switzerland votes Nov. 30 on the “Ecopop” initiative. Its backers argue that, for environmental reasons, immigration must not increase the population by more than 0.2 percent per year. They also want 10 percent of foreign development aid put into family planning.

Defense Minister Ueli Maurer of the nationalist People’s Party told Sunday’s SonntagsBlick newspaper that supporting Ecopop would be “dangerous.” He said it’s “very inflexible” and would make it difficult for companies to recruit enough workers.

The vote comes months after Switzerland approved plans backed by the People’s Party for quotas on immigration from all countries. Details haven’t been finalized.

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