The European Union is terrorizing voters in Switzerland and threatening retaliation against the tiny nation, which is not in the EU, after the Swiss voted on February 9 to limit immigration in a national referendum. Amid outrageous verbal attacks on the Swiss themselves — senior EU officials have been suggesting that “xenophobia” was behind the vote — out-of-touch European politicians and bureaucrats are even warning that Switzerland could lose its current bilateral access to the “common market” ruled by the emerging super-state in Brussels.
The EU, famous for ignoring the public to impose its will, has already started adopting the “consequences” promised by its apparatchiks. According to news reports, the unaccountable regime just suspended talks with Switzerland on incorporating Swiss utilities into the broader European energy market. “No technical negotiations on the electricity agreement are foreseen between Switzerland and the EU at the moment in light of the new situation,” European Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen announced to reporters in Brussels on February 11. More pain has been promised.
With the neutral Alpine nation facing a tsunami of immigrants from Europe who do not share their generally liberty-minded values and culture, concerns over unrestricted immigration under bilateral treaties finally came to a boil this year. Already, some 25 percent of the population is foreign born — about two thirds of that total come from EU nations — and many native Swiss people have long felt that the nation was losing its culture. With Switzerland’s freer economy leaving the EU in the dust in terms of growth, wages, wealth, innovation, and employment, the influx of foreigners showed no signs of easing.
In response to the situation, the center-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the nation’s largest, organized the referendum to seek public input on the issue — a common occurrence in Switzerland, where the people get the final say if they want it. Voters narrowly decided that curbs on immigration were needed, with 50.3 percent voting to scrap a 2002 deal with the EU allowing “free movement” of people across the borders. A majority of cantons also backed the proposal. The Swiss federal government, which opposed the limits before the vote, will reluctantly begin implementing a quota system sometime this year in accordance with the referendum result.
Foreign ministers from formerly sovereign nations across Europe, whose governments continue to impose more “integration” and unaccountable governance on the peoples of the bloc without their consent, lambasted the Swiss decision. Multiple officials even claimed infinite immigration was somehow a “sacred principle” for Europe. Ironically, however, all across the controversial bloc, liberty-minded parties seeking to put the brakes on unlimited mass immigration are soaring in the polls. From France and the United Kingdom to the Netherlands and beyond, European voters are becoming increasingly weary of what critics say is a power-hungry regime with totalitarian tendencies in Brussels.
In response to the growing outrage over the EU and unrestricted immigration, top EU commissars have increasingly resorted to Saul Alinsky-style tactics to attack their opponents. Among other strategies, extremist European “integration” zealots, who now openly declare their intention to build a “United States of Europe” after decades denying it, have resorted to demonizing the public they supposedly work for. Former EU Commissioner and Attorney General Peter Sutherland, for instance, claimed opponents and even skeptics of smashing national sovereignty were somehow extremists and racists.
After the latest Swiss vote, in between open threats, top European politicians made similar suggestions, sounding like petulant children. “Switzerland has rather damaged itself with this result,” claimed German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier after arriving in Brussels, even as demands grow for a similar referendum in Germany. “Switzerland must realize that cherry-picking with the EU is not a long-term strategy.” In other words, voters — even those who have consistently rejected the EU — must have no say about the march toward total EU domination of Europe.
Other foreign ministers made similarly outrageous remarks threatening tiny Switzerland — among the freest and most prosperous societies in the world and consistently ranked number one on just about every metric. “There will be consequences, that's clear,” warned Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, coming off more like a schoolyard bully than a respectable public servant. “You can't have privileged access to the European internal market and on the other hand, dilute free circulation.”
Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore, meanwhile, took the hysteria a step further, calling the result of the Swiss people’s vote “very disturbing.” Of course, the obligatory smears of millions of Swiss citizens and EU subjects could not be avoided, either. “I think we have seen throughout Europe a growth in what I can only call an extreme-right agenda which is quite xenophobic,” Gilmore told reporters, using a typical tactic employed by totalitarians throughout history.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius with the Socialist French government said the decision by Swiss voters was a “worrying” development, which he claimed showed that Switzerland — famous for international trade — was somehow “withdrawing” into itself. “We’re going to review our relations with Switzerland,” Fabius said during a radio program. Top EU bosses made similar remarks vowing to retaliate against the Swiss for standing up to their demands and wild fear mongering. The bloc surrounds Switzerland on all sides.
Swiss officials, meanwhile, while acknowledging that they are bound by the public’s decision, tried to downplay the hysterical talk coming out of politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels and European capitals. Big business interests — business-friendly Switzerland hosts international or regional headquarters for numerous major global corporations fleeing bloated welfare regimes — lamented the decision, saying it would be harder for companies to recruit the talent needed to grow. The public, however, concerned about what critics of unrestricted immigration say is the ongoing destruction of Swiss culture, were willing to take the risks.
While the establishment and its mouthpieces slammed the decision, liberty-minded analysts celebrated it. “There is surely no doubt that Switzerland, as one of two remaining important Western republics, continues to offer a challenge to those who seek aggressive globalism,” noted the free market-oriented Daily Bell. “Switzerland's carefully preserved culture and free-market virtues are ever a challenge to those who want to break down the borders of nation-states in order to create an evolving, expansive internationalism. But now — finally — Switzerland has pushed back.”
As The New American reported in 2011, EU bullying of tiny Switzerland and its voters has been a persistent and ongoing problem. Despite not being a member of the sovereignty-crushing regime, bloated high-tax EU member governments and Brussels itself were demanding Swiss voters raise taxes as companies and capital fled the bloc to lower-taxed, liberty-oriented cantons across Switzerland. Since then, the outrageous threats and coercion have only accelerated, with the EU treating Swiss voters as subjects required to comply with Brussels’ decrees. The super-state’s “war” on Switzerland continues.
Of course, the Obama administration has been terrorizing Swiss voters for years as well. Using a combination of threats and intimidation, the U.S. government ultimately succeeded in forcing Switzerland to obey its decrees on banking secrecy, data sharing, and more. Numerous tax-funded international outfits such as the OECD have also been scheming to crush Swiss freedom and sovereignty under the guise of helping revenue-hungry politicians around the world extract more tribute from citizens.
While what little public support existed for the EU continues to evaporate across the region, political parties seeking to exit the controversial union and restore national sovereignty are dominating at the polls across much of the bloc. However, so-called “eurocrats” and the establishment behind the radical project are unlikely to abandon their decades-old dream of a Europe ruled by an unaccountable and unelected behemoth — at least not any time soon. Swiss voters, though, would be wise to continue standing up against the flailing bully as it implodes from within.
Image: EU and Swiss flags
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at