Monday, 10 February 2014

grenzwache or crowd-sourcing

Sunday, the citizens of Switzerland went to polling stations to cast a plebiscite, whose assent is casting a chilling pall over the Confederation's relationship with the European Union and towards foreigners living there and prospectives as well. The matter of immigration reform and limits on the numbers of cross-border workers from neighbouring countries was put to a popular vote—which ironically has many crying foul of direct-democracy and those making the most clamor is the Germans who compromise the biggest single class of migrants and also wryly are facing, potentially the same kind of discrimination and quotas that immigrants from Turkey, Eastern Europe and beyond have to deal with when they come to Germany. French and Italian commuters are also concerned. The move, seen in part to protect native workers from outside competition and curb over-crowding—primarily of Ausländer, I suppose, suggesting a type of xenophobia that's just been codified, could see negative, punitive repercussions, as EU leadership question whether neutral Switzerland can continue its special tax-treaties with the bloc if they choose to reject their values and the thinning of boundaries. I wonder what forms sanctions could take. More tariffs could be levied against trade as a result. Politicians are also afraid, I think, of what kind of precedence such a decision—put into the hands of the majority without necessarily minority protection, might bode, what with such movements and closing of borders established throughout the union.