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Swiss gov't moving on immigration reform

Feb. 12, 2014 at 3:19 PM

ZURICH, Switzerland, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Swiss officials said they would draft a law by the end of the year following Sunday's vote to curb immigration and introduce quotas for the first time.

The controversial immigration measure, which passed narrowly in a referendum pushed by the right wing Swiss People's Party, could have an effect on relations with the European Union, Switzerland's largest trading partner, the Wall Street Journal said Wednesday.

Terms of a 1999 treaty specify in exchange for an open market for Swiss goods, EU residents can move freely into the country and have full access to the Swiss job market. Under terms of the accord if any single tenant is violated, the treaty is nullified.

Swiss President Didier Burkhalter said the nation needs time to implement an immigration law following Sunday's referendum. The law sets out a three-year time limit for legislation to be implemented.

"It will be very difficult to avoid discriminating against non-Swiss passport holders," he said.

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