GENEVA (AA) – A great majority of Swiss people have voted “no” in Sunday’s referendum on curbing immigration and boosting gold reserves.
About 74 percent of Swiss voters rejected the referendum proposal to cut immigration into the country by about three quarters, according to final results.
The proposal imposing strict limits on immigration would have reduced the number of immigrants from about 80,000 to 16,000 people a year.
Supporters of the immigration cut were concerned about the increase in the number of foreign population and said the cut would protect resources and environment.
However, opponents said limits on immigration would badly affect the economy and relations with the EU as most of the foreigners living in Switzerland are from EU states.
According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Switzerland has a population of about 8.18 million and foreign nationals make up about a quarter of the population of the country.
– Gold initiative rejected
Final results show that 77 percent of people voted “no” in the gold referendum which drew wide attention of financial markets as it would have led to a gold rush if it had been accepted.
It would have forced the Swiss National Bank to boost its assets in gold and buy huge amounts of gold over the next five years.
The bank would also have been prohibited from selling its gold reserves.
A great majority of Swiss people also voted against the initiative aimed at abolishing tax privileges for foreign nationals living in Switzerland.
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