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Switzerland

Yearbook 2016

Switzerland. According to countryaah, the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party (SVP) suffered a setback when 59% of voters in a referendum voted down a proposal for automatic expulsion of foreigners who also committed minor crimes. A law that applies to serious crimes was adopted after a 2010 referendum.

2016 Switzerland

In a symbolically important document, Parliament decided to withdraw Switzerland's application for EU membership. The application was submitted to the then EC in 1992 and was put into practice already the same year, when the voters in a referendum said no to the EEA agreement which would have given Switzerland access to the internal market.

The world's longest and deepest railway tunnel was inaugurated in June and put into full use in December. The new subway tunnel under the Sankt Gotthard massif is 57 kilometers long and is 600 meters below the significantly shorter road tunnel that has existed before. It is calculated for up to 50 passenger trains and 260 freight trains per day. The main purpose of the tunnel is to increase the capacity for freight transport in a corridor from the Dutch port city of Rotterdam via Basel to the Italian port city of Genoa.

One woman was killed and five people were seriously injured when a man poured combustible liquid and caught fire, and stabbed passengers on a train in northeastern Switzerland in August. The perpetrator, a 27-year-old Swiss, also died. According to police, it appeared to be an act of insanity.

In September, 65% of voters agreed to have the authorities intercept phones and monitor e-mails and use hidden cameras and microphones. Previously, the rules had been much stricter in Switzerland than in other countries.

In December, Parliament passed a law requiring employers in some cases to provide services to residents of Switzerland before applying for workers in the EU. SVP considered that the law did not adequately follow a decision on EU immigration quotas taken in a referendum in 2014.

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