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Nationalists ascendant as the Swiss roll Right

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Nationalists ascendant as the Swiss roll Right


Banner headlines in Swiss newspapers tell the story; the country has lurched to the right with the SVP/UDC becoming the biggest party in parliament. The party of Christoph Blocher pushed its low-tax, anti-immigration and Eurosceptic message so successfully that even traditionally left-leaning French-speaking cantons were convinced.

Its most controversial poster showed white sheep kicking out a black one. The most-recent variation of the party’s anti-foreigner theme saw calls for new powers allowing entire immigrant families to be thrown out if a child breaks the law. Rebutting accusations of racism, the SVP/UDC said it was simply a tough line on crime. But not all Swiss are convinced. Some people blamed the other parties for a dull campaign which bored the voters.

Others attacked the Left for criticising Blocher without offering a credible alternative, and said Blocher should pay them for their help. So, for the first time in years, the Right is in the ascendant, mainly at the expense of the Socialists.

Switzerland will still be governed by the same four-party coalition, but now the Right has a greater say.

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