Swiss party leads way for Europe's far right

Switzerland may have the richest population on the planet, according to a new survey, but this has not stopped the rise of the anti-immigrant Swiss People’s Party, the star performer of Europe’s swelling far right firmament.

The populist SVP, pledging a referendum that would enact the most radical ban on immigration on the continent, is on track to capture a historic 30 per cent of the vote at this weekend’s general election.

This would be more than any other political party in the confederation, and confirm the SVP’s status as the most electorally successful extreme right political movement in Europe.

Such a ballot box triumph would authorise the party to demand greater representation in the Swiss executive’s seven-member cabinet. It is also likely to put the direct-democracy denizens of Switzerland on a collision course with Brussels. Despite being outside the EU, the Swiss Confederation is a signatory to European laws on freedom of travel.

The SVP’s strong campaign follows the party’s push to outlaw the burka and expel foreign-born criminals. It echoes last year’s SVP-sponsored “yes” vote in a referendum banning the building of minarets in a country counting only a handful of these visible symbols of Muslim worship.


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