Petition sought on immigration


Swiss environmentalists, uneasy about population levels, have gathered 120,000 signatures to force a referendum on limiting immigration. Under the Swiss system of direct democracy, 100,000 signatures need to be collected to put a cause to a national vote.

Ecopop, an organisation which campaigns on environmental and population issues, yesterday handed in boxes containing the signatures. The initiative calls for an annual limit on Swiss population growth through immigration. It also wants the government to invest at least 10 per cent of its international aid budget into measures to support family planning abroad.

The Swiss population reached 8 million this year – up more than 140 per cent since 1990. – (Reuters)