Switzerland citizens vote Yes to freedom of circulation to new EU states

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Swiss people have voted yes to the freedom of circulation to the new EU states. Overall 55.95% (1 457 355) voted yes and 44.05% (1 147 236) voted no. The turnout was 53.64%. All the cantons voted yes, apart from the six and a half Ticino, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Glarus, Schwyz and Uri.

German-speaking and French-speaking parts of Switzerland had similar results; in previous national popular consultations, German-speaking cantons were regarded as less progressive than French-speaking ones.

The campaign was especially harsh, most governmental parties calling for acceptance, except the far-right wing Swiss People's Party (though Swiss People's Party's charismatic figure Christoph Blocher personally called for acceptance as well). Smaller formations, both from the extreme Right and extreme Left, attempted to smear fear of massive immigration and unemployement.

Switzerland has ratified bilateral agreements with the members of the European Union in March 2004, but the new members (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) were not included in the deal.

The results have been greeted by most of the political establishment.


Vote Percentage of Votes Number of votes
Yes 55.95% 1 457 355
No 44.05% 1 147 236