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New status to facilitate integration

The latest figures indicate that around 39,000 foreigners are currently living in Switzerland as “temporarily admitted foreign nationals”. They mainly come from Eritrea, Syria and Afghanistan and have not been granted asylum but cannot be repatriated for various reasons. In these cases, “temporarily” effectively means permanently admitted. Some 82 % of those concerned live off welfare benefits and have difficulty integrating into the world of work. For this reason, this status is deemed inadequate by the National Council, which has resolved to replace it with two new forms of status. In future, people who will clearly remain in the country long-term are to be given “protected” status and helped to integrate. People whose stay is limited will be deemed “temporarily in need of protection”. This status does not target integration.

No tax privileges on land sale

The National Council has abandoned its plans for tax exemption on the sale of agricultural and forestry land. The proposal stood no chance of adoption at the early-June session of the Council of States. The background is a Federal Supreme Court decision in 2011 restricting the tax-free sale of property based on rural land rights. The conservative parliamentary groups wanted to revoke this ruling by amending the law.

Federal government tackles terror propaganda online

The propaganda of terrorist organisations like IS cleverly targets young people online. Federal government has therefore decided to provide financial support for several pilot projects combating the radicalisation of 12 to 25-year-olds online. The projects will be run by non-profit organisations. The aim is to highlight positive alternatives to the extremist propaganda. The Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) is taking the lead on the initiative. It has called for media project proposals on the “Jugend und Medien” website – FSIO wishes to co-fund three or four projects.