Yes to phase out nuclear power
About 58 percent of the participants in a referendum vote yes to the
government's so-called energy use strategy. According to the so-called Energy
2050 strategy, the country should gradually stop using nuclear power and switch
to renewable energy sources.
Overview of the capital city of Switzerland, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Easier to get citizenship for certain groups
In a referendum, more than 60 percent of participants approve a
constitutional amendment that will make it easier for so-called third-generation
immigrants to become Swiss citizens. SVP had run a campaign before the
referendum to try to convince voters to vote no.
New union president takes office
Doris Leuthard will become the union president for 2017.
Law on labor migration from the EU
Both Parliament's chambers finally adopt a law on labor immigration from the
EU. No quotas for immigration required in the 2014 referendum are not
introduced. On the other hand, employers are required, among other things, to
give jobseekers in the country the opportunity to apply for services that they
plan to employ with workers from an EU country (see further Current policy).
Supervision law is approved
In a referendum, just over 65 percent of voters voted for a law that gives
Swiss security services the right to intercept phones and monitor e-mail
traffic, after approval by the court and government.
Compromise attempts on EU immigration
The National Council votes for a law which means that residents of
Switzerland - both citizens and others - should have priority over employment
before persons from abroad. The law is intended as a compromise to prevent the
EU from banning Switzerland from its internal market, which threatens the Union
if quotas are introduced for EU citizens (see February 2014).
The Standing Council will discuss the proposal in December.
The EU application is withdrawn
The Standing Council votes to withdraw Switzerland's 1992 EU application,
which has been dormant. The National Council, Parliament's second chamber, voted
for a withdrawal in March. In both chambers, the decision is made by a good
Soldiers ready to respond to the refugee crisis
The government announces that 2,000 soldiers are ready to move in should the
refugee crisis worsen. The statement comes after Italy recently received more
and more migrants arriving by boat from Libya.
No for deportation after minor crimes
In a referendum, 59 percent of participants say no to SVP's proposal to
introduce a law that allows foreigners to be expelled if they have committed
minor crimes. Such a law already exists for serious crimes (see November
New government ready
SVP retains its second place in the Bundesrat from BDP when the newly elected
parliament elects Guy Parmelin as new finance minister after Eveline
Widmer-Schlumpf left office (see also March 2008)
Agreement with the EU cancels banking secrecy
Switzerland and the EU sign an agreement on automatic exchange of information
on bank accounts. The agreement, which comes into force in 2018, essentially
eliminates what remains of the banking secrecy and makes it difficult for other
EU citizens to avoid taxes in their home countries by hiding them in
Switzerland. The agreement is in line with the 2014 OECD Tax Convention.
Elections to the Federal Assembly
Right-wing populist SVPs strengthen their position in the elections. One
reason is believed to be the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, which causes
concern among Swiss people that the country will be forced to accept more asylum
seekers. SVP receives close to 30 percent of the votes and 65 of the 200 seats
in the lower house. The Social Democrats remain the country's second largest
party, but back with three seats and get 43. The Liberal Democrats instead go
ahead with three seats to 33, which together with the SVP mandate means that
Parliament becomes more dominated by center-right forces than before.
Swissleaks gives strike to big bank
Police conduct a house search of the bank HSBC in Switzerland (part of the
British banking group HSBC). The bank is suspected of money launderingby helping
wealthy clients around the world avoid taxes. Among those who have opened
accounts at the bank in Switzerland are businessmen, politicians, celebrities
and criminals. Several countries, including France, the United States, Belgium
and Argentina, have initiated legal proceedings against the bank. The banking
scandal, the so-called Swissleaks, got its start in 2014 when reporters in the
French newspaper Le Monde received in their hands thousands of documents with
information about bank accounts of a whistleblower. The journalists took
advantage of the Washington-based journalist network ICIJ to investigate the
suspicions. It is now reported that HSBC's Swiss branch has helped customers in
200 countries avoid taxation of a total of $ 119 billion on accounts.
The franc is released
The central bank cancels its earlier decision on the Swiss franc's exchange
rate ceiling against the euro (see September 2011).