Swiss divided over tougher rules for foreigners


GENEVA: Switzerland was divided Sunday over a far-right push to automatically expel foreign residents convicted of certain crimes, with partial results in a referendum indicating a close race.
More than an hour after polls closed at mid-day, research institute gfs.bern said it was unable to forecast the likely result of the vote, while adding that it was clear that another referendum on whether the country should introduce a minimum tax rate across the board was set to be rejected.
Partial results indicate that French-speaking Switzerland has rejected the far-right initiative on expelling foreign criminals, while the country’s German-speaking majority have accepted it.
For an initiative to pass into law, a double majority of cantons and overall population are required.
A year after successfully backing a push for the country to ban the construction of minarets, the far-right Swiss People’s Party has mounted another aggressive campaign.
This time they want to get Switzerland to clamp down on foreigners guilty of certain crimes by stripping them of their right to remain.