The facilitation of the naturalisation of the third generation of migrants by 60.4% ov Swiss votes is far from being a revolution, and even less an open door policy .This reform aims at simplifying the administrative procedures for the descendants of immigrants wishing to obtain a Swiss passport. The doubt about obtaining a majority of the cantons disappeared as the results fell. Several cantons which had previously refused a similar project – Grisons, Zurich, Valais, Lucerne, Nidwalden – approved the initiative. In French-speaking Switzerland, the proposal was endorsed by all cantons.
The beneficiaries of the reform – 25,000 young foreigners of the third generation who could benefit from facilitated naturalization, the vast majority were born in a family whose grandparents immigrated to Switzerland to work. Nearly 80% of them come from an EU or EFTA countries: 58% are Italian, 7.7% Spanish and 4.8% Portuguese. To this group will be added an annual average of 2300 children who will be eligible for naturalization.
However, nothing is guaranteed, each canton has to decide upon granting of the citizenship in an individual procedure. The request can be rejected without revelations of the reasons behind the decision.
No good news for the EU this Sunday from the Switzerland. Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected plans to abandon the corporate tax system, leaving startled government in a stalemate confronted with the Europeans critics, attempting to convince rich neighbours to stop the regime of record low tax rates for thousands of multinational companies enjoying tax ‘haven’.
Switzerland agreed with the Organisation for Economic co-operation and development (OECD) in 2014 to change by 2019 the special status, which has been a beacon of attraction for around 24,000 multinationals searching to maximize profits through minimising tax payments. That provision will now remain in place past the original deadline.
Most Swiss voters recognized the country needs reform to avoid being blacklisted as a low-tax pariah. But new measures proposed to help companies offset the loss of their special status had created deep divisions.
Just over 59% of referendum participants – who have the last word under the Swiss system of direct democracy – opposed the plans, which the country’s political and business elite succumbed under international pressure.
The ‘no’ voters took into consideration the opportunity to employ 150,000 staff and contribute half of federal corporate taxes due to this special tax status.