Destinations Magazine

Head Them off at the Pass

By Stizzard
Head them off at the pass Space invaders

A RECENT Swiss newspaper cartoon depicts the ship of state bearing down on a small boat crammed with migrants, as the lookouts cry “Hard right!” That is the direction Swiss voters opted for in their parliamentary election on October 18th.

If any prosperous European country has been left untouched by Europe’s latest migrant crisis, it is Switzerland. While the country is not a member of the European Union, it belongs to its Schengen visa-free travel zone, and has agreed to take part in the mandatory relocation scheme for asylum applicants the EU adopted in September. But it intends to take on only a few additional migrants. The government of the Alpine country had planned to admit about 29,000 asylum-seekers in 2015. Over the summer, as hundreds of thousands of refugees surged through the Balkans into neighbouring Austria and Germany, Switzerland expanded that estimate—but only to about 30,000.

The country’s mountainous terrain and lack of major rail hubs seem to have kept it off of the major migrant routes. Nevertheless, voters rewarded right-wing politicians who campaigned on promises to…

The Economist: Europe

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