• Mailbag



Ecopop and Swiss abroad

The comment on the Ecopop initiative in the editorial of the June issue of “Swiss Review”, claiming that Swiss abroad would no longer be able to return to Switzerland if the maximum immigration limit were reached, cannot – even allowing for a sceptical attitude towards the initiative – be allowed to pass in this absolute form. Swiss nationals are assured of a right to return to their homeland at any time under constitutional provisions, and these provisions are to remain unchanged in the future. In its statements, the Federal Council stands by its undertaking to the effect that the constitutional guarantees, such as those of Art. 24 (2 B), are to be taken into account in drawing up admission requirements. The text of the initiative does not prevent a distinction between Swiss nationals and foreigners. As Swiss citizens must in all events be permitted to return to Switzerland, if the initiative were accepted the “immigration quota” for foreigners would also therefore depend on the number of returning Swiss nationals. 

Jean-Marc Crevoisier, Head of Information, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)


The commentary on Ecopop in the editorial is subjective scaremongering. No popular initiative can overturn the fundamental constitutional right of the holder of a Swiss passport to settle in Switzerland at any time. Even if the worst came to the worst, any halfway reasonable court would intervene. The management of immigration is an important part of a country›s sovereignty. To simply surrender this sovereignty in negotiations is testament to a catastrophic policy. Immigration policy is a prerogative of the state and should serve to promote the public good. Countries with a history of mass immigration have been aware of this for some time and apply immigration policy accordingly.

Matt Frepp, Toronto, Canada

It will have been a waste of 42 years

Does anyone remember the Club of Rome and the “Limits to Growth” report it published in 1972 ? It wasn’t drafted by extremists, but everyone found it disturbing, and so it got buried. If the Ecopop initiative is accepted, Switzerland and the rest of the world will have wasted 42 years. Or not?

Bruno Studer, Sanary sur Mer, France

“It is always others who are surplus”

After the success of nationalist movements in the EU elections, the politically correct polemic of “Swiss Review” against the Ecopop initiative is wide of the mark. Especially as our Federal Council has no intention of implementing the mass immigration initiative endorsed by the people. This means that the pressure must be increased yet further. After around a quarter of Europeans voted against the EU’s present political course, Switzerland can happily leave the bilateral route with the Brussels vassals of the USA: The Swiss government should again finally start fighting for agreements that are in the national interest instead of taking a lead from the ineffectual lobby-controlled behaviour of the Commissions in Brussels.

Dr. Ing. (ETH) Jean-Pierre Voiret, Calw, Germany

Realistic and farsighted decision-making  

Some issues may still be a “matter of taste” or a matter of opinion. But (largely) unrestricted immigration and (resulting) overpopulation, on the other hand, are not merely a question of quality of life; they could even become a serious threat to basic survival. As in all areas, common sense applies in this case, too: if we do not remember this, not only will our mental and, as a result, also our physical wellbeing be jeopardised, we will also lose our room for manoeuvre to protect our basic needs in times of crisis. This is where the utopian faith in unending economic growth, increasing profits and material prosperity is in stark 

contrast to the reality of increasing environmental destruction and pollution, stress and the growing number of illnesses caused by the former. It is up to us to face up to this reality, to come to terms with it and to prevent the worst by reacting appropriately as early as possible.

Vital Scherrer, S. Jorge, Portugal

Poor taste

Cover photo of Swiss Review 2: Symbolic, my eye. It is a picture of submission and defeat! Revolting, degrading and poor taste. What’s next? A symbolic EU yodel?

Armin Kunkler, Bonifay FL, USA

Book tip

Dear Swiss readers and readers from elsewhere in the world – especially from France and Germany: I am sometimes upset when I read the letters from the “Swiss Review” mailbag and, as an exceptionally helvetophile Hungarian, I will take the liberty of recommending my little book “Helvetismen – Deutsches Kulturwörterbuch der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft” [Helveticisms – German Cultural Dictionary of the Swiss Confederation] so that you really appreciate the great treasure that Switzerland has and represents. Then people will also understand the results of referenda without incorrectly interpreting them. With great respect for the sovereign Swiss citizen. 

Professor László Ódor,Budapest, HUNGARY