Swiss voters approve law on expelling foreign criminals
A clear majority of Swiss voters were in favour of expelling foreigners convicted of serious crimes, the final results from a referendum showed Sunday, dpa reported.
The proposed law on foreign criminals, which would be one of the harshest in Europe, had gained 52.9 per cent of the vote in favour, according to Swiss television, citing latest projections.
The majority of votes in the majority of cantons - Swiss administrative regions - were also in favour, a requirement if the proposal is to become law.
A counter-proposal, which suggested that a judge be allowed to review each case individually was rejected.
The proposal to automatically expel foreigners was put forward by the populist Swiss People's Party (SVP) and will affect foreigners who commit crimes such as murder, rape, drug offences and welfare fraud.
The anti-immigrant SVP caused controversy three years ago when it released a poster showing white sheep kicking a black sheep out of Switzerland.
The party was also responsible for initiating the referendum on the building of minarets, which the Swiss voted to ban last year.
Meanwhile, results showed that a majority of voters had rejected a proposal put forward by the Socialist party which would oblige the rich throughout the country to pay a 22 per cent tax on their income.
Each Swiss canton can currently set its own tax rates, which the Socialists argue has led to "undercutting" by internal "tax havens" that draw the wealthy.