Swiss immigration vote 'worrying': French foreign minister

PARIS Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:53am EST

1 of 7. Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga (2nd L) addresses a news conference next to Interior Minister Alain Berset (L), President and Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter (2nd R) and Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications Doris Leuthard in Bern February 9, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Hodel

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PARIS (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday Europe would review its relations with Switzerland after a "worrying" Swiss vote to reintroduce immigration quotas with the European Union.

"It's a worrying vote because it means that Switzerland wants to withdraw into itself," Fabius told RTL radio. "We're going to review our relations with Switzerland," he said, referring to Europe.

Swiss voters on Sunday narrowly backed proposals that curtail the relatively free movement of citizens to and from the EU and could unravel bilateral accords with the bloc.

Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but the bloc represents its biggest trading partner. The current pact on free movement of people supports Switzerland's globally oriented economy that employs large numbers of foreign professionals.

The yes vote for the "Stop mass immigration" initiative was also sharply criticized by the European Commission in Brussels, which said it would examine the implications for its relations with Switzerland.

"In my opinion it's bad news both for Europe and for the Swiss because Switzerland will be penalized (economically) if it withdraws," Fabius said.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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Comments (10)
Tiu wrote:
The Swiss need to be prevented from leaving Switzerland and they should be forced to shut any bank outside their tax zone on account of their tax-evading practices. Their tax-avoiding clients should be repatriated with their country of origin.

Feb 10, 2014 3:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
Fr0ntSight wrote:
Switzerland is one of the best places on this earth to live. They have one of the highest qualities of life anywhere. Nothing wrong with trying to protect that.

Feb 10, 2014 4:00am EST  --  Report as abuse
MLSelby wrote:
No it won’t, and no it isn’t.
Switzerland is doing what any sensible nation should do.
Extend the invitation to those with skills, will integrate and will be a net contributor to the national economy.

Feb 10, 2014 4:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
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