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Swiss voters reject 'green' immigration cap: Initial results

The Swiss rejected three issues put to a popular vote on Sunday, including calls to cap immigration in the name of saving the environment, according to initial results and projections.



Geneva: The Swiss rejected three issues put to a popular vote on Sunday, including calls to cap immigration in the name of saving the environment, according to initial results and projections.

Results published by a handful of the country's 26 cantons, including Geneva, showed voters flatly rejecting the so-called Ecopop initiative, as well as bids to scrap special tax breaks for rich foreigners living but not working in Switzerland, and on forcing the central bank to increase its gold reserves.

Estimates by polling agency gfs.Bern, published by public broadcaster RTS, indicated that a full 74 per cent of voters nationwide said "no" to Ecopop, which aimed to dramatically cut immigration to preserve the Alpine nation's idyllic landscape.

Twenty-six per cent were seen voting in favour, according to those estimates.

A full 78 per cent had meanwhile voted down the so-called Gold initiative, which would force the Swiss National Bank to boost its gold reserves to at least 20 per cent of its holdings, nearly three times more than today's level of seven percent, that estimate indicated.

Only 22 per cent of voters were believed to have approved that move.

And 60 per cent of voters were believed to have turned down the bid to ditch the special tax breaks handed to wealthy foreign residents, who today can choose to be levied on their spending rather than income.

Only 40 per cent were seen voting in favour, according to gfs.Bern.

In Geneva, which is home to the most beneficiaries in Switzerland of those special tax-breaks, nearly 69 percent voted against the initiative and to thus keep the current system in place, according to results based on 95 percent of votes.

Switzerland counts 5,729 millionaires and billionaires with foreign passports, who together pay around one billion Swiss francs (USD 1.04 billion) in taxes annually. 

From Zee News

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