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Die Presse - Austria | Friday, November 26, 2010

Nationalists stir up hatred among Swiss

The Swiss are being asked to vote in a referendum next Sunday on an initiative to speed up the deportation of foreigners who have committed criminal offences. The "expulsion initiative" was conceived by the right-wing nationalist Swiss People's Party (SVP). The liberal-conservative daily Die Presse believes, however, that the referendum serves only to stir up hatred since it is not legally enforceable: "'What a nice country Switzerland could be without all those criminal foreigners!' That was the message on the placards of the notoriously xenophobic Swiss People's Party. The initiative does have a catch, though: it can't be implemented. The text violates the EU agreement on freedom of movement as well as international law. Surely even the SVP doesn't believe that the country that hosts the UN Council on Human Rights will in future be deporting people to countries where they are threatened with torture. But the SVP is concerned not with the issue itself but with keeping a fire burning under the resentment that has fed the party for years."

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