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Anti-immigrant sentiment clouds European unity

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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:03 AM
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Anti-immigrant sentiment clouds European unity
Exploiting the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim sentiment of voters has become a useful tool for some right-wing political parties.

This has been particularly true in some European countries, such as the Netherlands, France, Austria and Switzerland, where the Swiss People's Party has been steadily expanding its support for 20 years. The party claims that immigrants (and Muslims) were greatly responsible for increased crime and other problems within Swiss society. It also anticipated growing support for its anti-European Union position, announcing its intention to seek an end to the current open border agreement with EU states.

(Swiss People's) Party president Toni Brunner said the party also wanted to reintroduce quotas on immigration from the 27 members of the European Union. Switzerland itself is not a member of the EU, though it has extensive agreements with it.

For one thing, the reversal of the party's fortunes will be welcomed by those in Europe who did not want to see the termination of Switzerland's open border arrangement with the EU. Some are fearful that such a move could result in other European nations re-establishing frontier controls themselves, affecting the free movement of workers, a key ingredient in the EU's economic integration. Such an action could also unravel trade and economic co-operation between Switzerland and EU trading partners.

The good news is that the Swiss Peoples Party suffered its first decline in electoral support in 20 years so maybe their influence has peaked. The National Front in France is polling at 16%, much lower than its support in the last few elections.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:06 AM
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1. I have to admit
watching a woman trying to eat wearing a burkha made me mad in Austria this summer.

It didn't look like a choice to me. It looked like abuse.

Not only was it a piece of clothing. It removed her from the world. She couldn't even ask the waiter for more coffee. She had to whisper in her husband's ear and the husband asked .
She couldn't participate in the table conversation. You couldn't even see if she was enjoying things or not.

I went to college in Austria 30 years ago. Back then it was a pretty homogenious country. Not so much anymore.
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