“The Swiss vote on mass immigration: the consequences for you and your organisation”
Public Conference / Organized by Le News and the Graduate Institute – 3 April 2014, 12h30 to 13h30 at The Graduate Institute.
THIS EVENT WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL WITH OVER 200 PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE. A BIG THANK TO EVERYONE!
It’s not the end of the world!
The phrase was repeated several times by Yves Niddeger, the Geneva MP for the conservative Swiss People’s Party (UDC) at a conference organized by Le News on 3 April at Geneva’s Graduate Institute. Monsieur Niddeger told the more than 200 internationals who came to hear what the 9 February vote to stop mass immigration might mean for them, and that there is nothing to worry about. “The end of the world has not come,” he said, adding that the referendum was not against all immigration but against immigration without limits.
“For the time being the situation is status quo for those who have a work permit,” assured Frédérique Reeb-Laundry, President of GEM (Groupement des Entreprises Multinationales) which represents 80 companies and 30,000 jobs in the Lake Geneva region. “Today one out of two Swiss francs is earned abroad,” she said, “and we need to keep constructive relations with foreign countries, especially our neighbours”.
And that is the crux of the issue according to Niddeger. “It’s Europe versus the rest of the world. Since we must have open borders for all Europeans, there is no room for non-Europeans. I am fighting to get qualified work permits from countries like India. More than a Polish plumber, we need Indian computer scientists.”
Reeb-Landry agreed that the Swiss people have made their decision and the question now is how to implement this decision.” Niddeger’s party favours renegotiating existing treaties but Professor Vincent Chetail, director of the Global Migration Center at the Graduate Institute warned that this could “trigger terminating agreements with the EU on transport, technical cooperation, agriculture, culture, science and education.”
In the closing statements, Reeb-Landry warned that collaboration between business and the political establishment was vital if the measures to stop mass immigration were to be implemented successfully. “Will you cooperate with us?” she asked Nidegger directly. His response: “absolutely.”