The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 10, 2014

Swiss vote limit in

GENEVA — Voters in Switzerland narrowly backed a proposal to limit immigration Sunday, in a blow for the government after it had warned that the measure could harm the Swiss economy and relations with the European Union.

The decision follows a successful last-minute campaign by nationalist groups that stoked fears of overpopulation and rising numbers of Muslims in the Alpine nation.

Swiss public television SRF reported that some 50.3 percent of voters eventually backed the proposal to introduce quotas for all types of immigrants. About 49.7 percent voted against it.

“This has far-reaching consequences for Switzerland ... and our relations with the European Union,” Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said after the vote. “It’s a shift away from the current system of free movement of people.”

Although Switzerland isn’t a member of the EU it enjoys close ties to the 28-nation bloc. Bern has painstakingly negotiated a series of bilateral agreements with Brussels, including one that allowed most of the EU’s 500 million citizens to live and work in Switzerland with little formality. Swiss citizens, in turn, could do the same in the European Union.

Under Swiss law the government now has to renegotiate its treaty on the free movement of people, though it is still unclear what kind of caps will be placed on immigration, and when. Switzerland already introduced quotas for immigrants from eight central and eastern European nations two years ago.

The latest decision is likely to have much more far-reaching consequences though, as hundreds of thousands of well-educated foreigners from Germany, France, Italy and other EU countries work in Switzerland. Ahead of Sunday’s referendum business groups warned that many of the 80,000 people who moved to Switzerland last year are vital for the country’s economy, and curtailing immigration further could cost Swiss citizens’ jobs too.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Bridge Businesses try to survive while bridge is closed

    Ray Cole wonders every day if his business will have to close. Cole is one of many Lexington and Purcell business owners struggling financially since the 76-year-old James C. Nance Memorial Bridge closed Jan. 31. The Oklahoma Department ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm scavengers now could face felony charges

    OKLAHOMA CITY— It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters....

    April 15, 2014

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Social justice dialogue part of University of Oklahoma program

    The University of Oklahoma kicked off Justice Week with a public forum Monday titled “Luis Rodriguez: No en Vano.” Critically acclaimed author, Esmeralda Santiago discussed the “Transformative Power of Art,” while joining five panelists ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s 8-month streak without tornado falls

    TULSA — After Oklahoma’s eight-month streak without a tornado was snapped this weekend by a pair of suspected twisters, the state’s wild weather jag continued into Monday, with blowing snow from the Panhandle to Tulsa and freezing ...

    April 15, 2014

  • County hears presentation on employment opportunities

    The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation Monday to consider partnering with a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for prison inmates re-entering the community. Patrick Viklund, Center for ...

    April 15, 2014

  • 4 now charged in college player’s death

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A fourth person was charged Monday in the death of an Australian baseball player who was fatally shot as he jogged in a southern Oklahoma neighborhood last summer....

    April 15, 2014

  • Questions linger year after bombs

    BOSTON — A surveillance video shows a man prosecutors say is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placing a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, just yards from where an 8-year-old boy was killed when it exploded....

    April 15, 2014

  • Fallin signs minimum wage increase ban

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities across Oklahoma are now prohibited from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin....

    April 15, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Sunday: · 12:03 a.m. vandalism, 100 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 6:42 a.m. burglary report, 300 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 9:21 a.m. vandalism, 1500 block of North ...

    April 15, 2014