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Swiss advocates of basic income for all claim moral victory, despite crushing defeat

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Swiss advocates of basic income for all claim moral victory, despite crushing defeat

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Swiss voters may have overwhelmingly rejected the proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all, but for some that doesn’t necessarily mean the debate is over.


(“Switzerland glitters in gold. From 0 to 23 percent and the journey has just begun!”)

Basel café owner Daniel Häni launched the initiative under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy. While 76.9 percent of people voted against his idea, he is still claiming a moral victory.

“More than 20 percent means that one in five people who had the right to vote see this as (a step in) the right direction. The trend is set and the idea is launched,” he said after the results had been announced.

The proposal was to offer a basic monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (around 2,200 euros) per adult and 625 francs (some 563 euros) for under 18s, regardless of how much they work. This, supporters claimed, would encourage human dignity and public service.

But the government argued it would cost too much and be detrimental to the economy.

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