Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to limit the free movement of people from countries of the European Union, according to the preliminary results of a referendum that was held on Sunday.
A large majority of 63% voted in the binding referendum against the proposal of the right-wing People’s party which would have imposed restrictions on labor migration into Switzerland.
The Swiss People’s Party tabled the motion, expressing a desire to take away the European Union’s control over the country’s migration laws.
Switzerland had signed a treaty with the EU, which allows free movement from the member states.
The agreement stated that Swiss companies had to prioritize individuals resident in Switzerland when choosing to hire new workers.
The country’s voters, according to the preliminary results, have also supported a proposal to introduce two weeks of paid maternity leave for new fathers. Slightly more than 60 percent of voters appear to have backed this motion.
However, the preliminary results show that voters rejected a proposal to deduct general expenses for children from taxes.
About 68 percent of the 2.1 million foreigners in Switzerland are citizens of the EU, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein; countries that, like Switzerland, have signed the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA).