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Switzerland moves to restrict immigration from western European states

The Swiss government says it plans to restrict immigration from western European countries starting next month, citing constant growth in the number of people arriving to work in the prosperous non-European Union country. Switzerland EmploymentUnder a ''safeguard clause'' in Switzerland's agreements with the EU, the Alpine nation already imposes quotas on long-term residence permits for people from eight eastern European countries. The regulations are expected to start for a one-year period from May for western and southern EU countries. A government statement said in recent years the number of foreigners arriving in Switzerland to work has been up to 80,000 higher each year than the number leaving. Restricting permits ''can help to make immigration more acceptable to society'', the statement said. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton criticised Switzerland's new immigration regulations: ''The measures disregard the great benefits that the free movement of persons brings to the citizens of both Switzerland and the EU.'' Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/switzerland-moves-to-restrict-immigration-from-western-european-states-20130425-2ih4h.html

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