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Letters to the editor


Work for undocumented immigrants. Geneva model leads the way

It is a brave and welcome initiative in a world where the borders are re-closing. Having legal status means much more than paying tax. Recognising and condemning the abusive practices of some employers is a logical step. As for the argument about “work for the people of Geneva”, I find it hard to believe that they would accept poorly paid jobs over unemployment benefits. The conditions for obtaining this permit are well established and its one-year duration enables every case to be monitored and re-evaluated. Open your hearts and minds, and your life can only be better! Well done! There is no place for slavery in modern society.

Laure Mabillard, Switzerland

Large-scale panoramic paintings. Renaissance of an object of fascination

It was some 60 years ago that I gazed at the Bourbaki panorama in amazement. It is a shame that these gigantic paintings receive so little attention.

Ernst Ruetimann, Thailand

Calling the panoramas, as in this article, the first mass medium in history is rather wide of the mark. What about the Sacri Monti in northern Italy, for instance that of Varallo in Valsesia? Between the Renaissance and Baroque periods, artists such as Gaudenzio Ferrari developed a multi-sensory experience which combined topography, architecture, sculpture and painting to produce a multi-media propaganda instrument of the Counter-Reformation which had mass impact.

Reinhard Manz, Germany

Old-age pension reform. Before the referendum

I have lived outside Switzerland since I was five years old , came back to Switzerland at the age of 21, worked there for six months and went to the USA. What will happen to me if I want to go back to Switzerland at the age of 65 and my pension from the USA is not enough to survive in Switzerland? Does the government have a solution in this case? If not, it would mean that people like me couldn‘t ever go back because they wouldn‘t be able to afford to live in Switzerland. I’ve wanted to pay AHV from abroad for a long time but never got an answer from the AHV.

Heinz Kuhne, USA

Editorial. A dual identity

I am European. My mother was Swiss, my father was Italian, my husband is German, and our children are dual citizens. I speak six European languages and have relatives in the UK. I firmly believe we must learn to think, live and act as Europeans, without overlooking or forgetting the values and principles of our respective countries of origin. Admittedly, diversity usually brings a need for great effort, empathy and patience as well as persuasive lines of argument, determination and the willingness to compromise. Nothing can easily be pushed through or resolved once and for all. Diversity is nevertheless a rich asset offering great potential, and is therefore key to prosperous development.

Claudia Stockburger-Maridati, Germany

I have been living in Colombia for over nine years. I have a perfect command of Spanish, of course, and can even distinguish between different local accents. People often ask me if I would like to take out Colombian citizenship but, quite frankly, I see few benefits, apart from having the right to vote in a country where endemic corruption is rampant. No, thank you. All the more so, as my Swiss passport provides many benefits, especially when travelling abroad. I notice that Swiss citizens are quite well regarded all over the world, which is why I don’t feel the need to adopt another nationality, even though I greatly appreciate my host country.

Ralph Udo Krebs, Colombia