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Swiss support tougher asylum legislation

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Swiss support tougher asylum legislation

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In a referendum on Sunday June 9, the Swiss voted overwhelmingly in favour of a controversial government move to tighten up the country’s asylum law.

The amendments, made in September, were supported by almost 79 percent of voters.

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga stressed that the changes had sped up the application process, saying: “Today was a very important step.Very soon we’ll be able to offer a new structure of asylum politics.”

Opponents to the law revision, which includes the removal of military desertion from the list of valid grounds for seeking asylum in Switzerland, criticised the referendum result.

Parliamentarian Celine Amandruz said: “this marks a weakening of our humanitarian tradition.”

The Swiss also voted against a proposal to have the Federal Council, the country’s highest political body elected directly by the people. This means the Council will continue to be elected by parliament.