The Swiss Right identifies a new scapegoat – Germans

FOR GENERATIONS, SWITZERLAND HAS enjoyed a global reputation as a place of tolerance, neutrality, democracy, and basic decency. But with an important local election approaching, one major party is willing to trash all of that in exchange for votes.

The center-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP), Switzerland’s largest,¬†captured the world’s headlines last November by pushing through a nationwide referendum to ban the construction of minarets. For years it has also supported initiatives designed to slow foreign immigration and deport “criminal foreigners” on a fast track system. In doing so, it has made skillful use of Switzerland’s system of direct democracy through referendums. Now, with the Muslims at bay, it has identified a new scapegoat for the country’s ills: other Europeans, starting with Switzerland’s neighbors to the north, the Germans…

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