The biggest problem with Swiss immigration restrictions

by on February 20, 2014 at 7:17 am in Law, Science | Permalink

Switzerland really does produce global tfp, Tim Berners-Lee being the most obvious example, not to mention CERN, particle colliders, and pharmaceuticals:

The outcome of an ill-conceived referendum on 9 February against ‘mass immigration’ threatens to spoil Switzerland’s beautiful science landscape (see page 277).

The full story is here.  For the pointer I thank Michelle Dawson.

1 Just another MR Commentor February 20, 2014 at 7:33 am

Switzerland’s folly is America’s gain. If Switzerland doesn’t want all these engineers and scientists then the US government should strike now and massively expand the H1B visa program. Silicon Vally companies are bursting with great ideas, ideas which languish due to a severe shortage of top talent.
The announcement today of Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp proves that the Vally is hungry for innovation like never before – we’re headed beyond the technological frontier and this could be remembered as a defining event in US economic history.

2 The Anti-Gnostic February 20, 2014 at 9:08 am

LOL. Yes, let’s get these brilliant minds to work churning out reservations systems so you can turn your home into a flophouse or hire out your car as a gypsy cab. Or Facebook – the world’s largest bulletin board. I wonder what Zuckerburg thinks when he realizes his profits come from ads for hook-up sites and steroid supplements and stupid games played by bored, middle-aged women.

Maybe the Swiss just figure enough is enough and they’d rather just be Switzerland. If a brilliant oncologist in, say, Kosovo invents the cure for cancer, then they can just trade him some precision machinery for it. If some Swiss are gnashing their teeth because all that ferment of innovation is going on elsewhere like in, say, suburban Paris or Bucharest, then they can just open a subsidiary there. Or send an e-mail. Teleconference. Homing pigeon. Whatever.

3 David Lee Roth February 20, 2014 at 9:32 am

You keep bringing the rain, I’ll keep bringing the parade.

4 Peter Schaeffer February 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm


Switzerland is just wasting away. Poor people living in slums and shantytowns everywhere. Crime maintaining a reign of terror on the streets. Schools closing and illiteracy everywhere. No jobs and little food.

A man made disaster of staggering proportions.

Wait a minute… None of that is true.

Switzerland is prosperous, peaceful, orderly, stable, clean, well educated, etc.

Open Borders can fix it. No part of the world should be exempt from the slums, poverty, crime, etc. that mass immigration brings. How dare the Swiss say no.

5 Daniel February 22, 2014 at 7:14 pm

>>>I wonder what Zuckerburg thinks when he realizes his profits come from ads for hook-up sites and steroid supplements and stupid games played by bored, middle-aged women…

He thinks, “Suckers”. And he’s right.

6 cthulhu February 20, 2014 at 9:59 am

There’s no shortage of US engineers and scientists, especially programmers; there is a shortage of engineers and scientists, especially programmers, who will work for the wages that Zuckerberg and his ilk want to pay. The H1B visa program is designed to provide Silicon Valley with indentured servants, nothing more; it is crony capitalism at its worst.

7 Ray Lopez February 20, 2014 at 11:54 am

@cthulhu – you have only yourselves to blame. Instead of pushing for better patent laws, that would, for example, reward inventors regardless of whether they signed an employment agreement assigning all rights to their employer, and/or forming a guild like doctors and lawyers do, with their boards and bars, the engineers believed the b.s. that professors taught them that the function of an engineer is to put themselves out of work as quickly as possible, by doing their project as efficiently as possible, at the lowest cost. Well you reap what you sow. As a consequence anybody who wants to make money goes not into engineering (a Third World path to success) but rentseeking, or doctoring, or lawyering, or Indian Chiefing. All these trades have artificial barriers to entry. Then people wonder why there’s a Great Stagnation. It is simple: if society promotes rentseekers by structuring incentives to flow to them, then they will get outsized rentseekers. And that’s what happened.

8 Gary S February 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Sad but true.

9 Engineer February 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Instead of pushing for better patent laws, that would, for example, reward inventors regardless of whether they signed an employment agreement assigning all rights to their employer

Instead of stock options, we should be demanding revenue shares.

That’s what governments ask for in exchange for R&D grants.

10 Peter Schaeffer February 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm


I saw Mark Zuckerberg begging for food in the street a few days ago. He had a sign that read “Billionaires for Cheap Labor – Please Donate”. My heart said yes, but my brain said no. I passed.

Back in the real world, see “EPI analysis finds no shortage of STEM workers in the United States”

“In a new EPI paper, Hal Salzman of Rutgers, Daniel Kuehn of American University and B. Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown University find little evidence to support expansion of high-skill guestworker programs as proposed in the immigration bill being debated in the Senate. Contrary to many industry claims, the study finds that U.S. colleges and universities provide an ample supply of highly qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates.

In Guestworkers in the high-skill U.S. labor market, the authors examine the IT labor market, guestworker flows and the STEM pipeline, and conclude that the United States has more than a sufficient supply of STEM workers available.

Key findings include:

Guestworkers may be filling as many as half of all new IT jobs each year
IT workers earn the same today as they did, generally, 14 years ago
Currently, only one of every two STEM college graduates is hired into a STEM job each year
Policies that expand the supply of guestworkers will discourage U.S. students from going into STEM, and into IT in particular

“The debate over guestworker programs is largely based on anecdotal evidence and testimonials from employers, rather than solid evidence,” said Salzman. “Our examination shows that the STEM shortage in the United States is largely overblown. Guestworker programs are in need of reform, but any changes should make sure that guestworkers are not lower-paid substitutes for domestic workers.”

Despite a steady supply of U.S. STEM graduates, guestworkers make up a large and growing portion of the workforce, specifically in information technology occupations and industries. IT employers look to guestworker programs as a source of labor that is plentiful even at wages that appear to be too low to attract large numbers of the best and brightest domestic students.”

11 RPLong February 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Yes, fully agreed here. The effect of an import quota on X is an inflated price for X. There may be plenty of X to go around, but the price is higher than the average buyer is willing to pay, higher than the buyer would otherwise have to pay in free market conditions. The result is a deadweight loss to society: Foreign sellers lose the ability to sell, domestic buyers lose the ability to buy. Consumers of the final product lose by experiencing a higher price for the final good, or a reduced supply of it, or both.

All this to protect a special interest group engaged in rent-seeking through import quota.

I agree with all of that.

12 Max Factor February 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Re: “Consumers of the final product lose by experiencing a higher price for the final good, or a reduced supply of it, or both.”

So in the case of Web 2.0 – where much of the content provided to the masses is free – how would the masses be harmed if we cut the supply of H1B visas which would lead to American STEM workers getting a 25% bump in pay? Will Facebook charge us more? How about Snapchat? Instagram? Pandora? Google? If engineers received the minimum wage would we see more innovation or less?

Is it fair and just that Jobs, Schmidt and Lucas conspired to keep California tech salaries low? Do the consumers owe them a debt of thanks?

13 RPLong February 21, 2014 at 9:06 am

Max Factor, there are all sorts of ways to increase prices without raising the actual price. One way is to create queues, another way is to reduce supply, another way is to hold quantity constant while reducing quality, and so on.

As for Jobs, Schmidt, and Lucas, I certainly need not defend the collusive practices of a few individuals in order to justify a free labor market. Free markets kill collusion more effectively than any other mechanism. This is one of the most important reasons I favor them.

14 Just another MR Commentor February 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Whoa let’s take a step back here and see the big picture. This is exactly the point engineering wages are now so high that their taking a toll on the profitability of these tech companies. Remember Silicon Valley companies like Facebook have to push the frontier all the time and that requires lots of cash. If we lower the wages of engineers through more immigration then that means Facebook and Google can HIRE more engineers are a cheaper price meaning we get new technologies faster.
Look at the big purchase of WhatsAp today by Facebook – these kinds of deals could revolutionize the technology landscape but companies need money to finance them. It’s not crony capitalism it’s brilliant strategy on the part of guys like Zuck.

15 Gary S February 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Ideologically speaking, that would make you pro-market rigging then (‘if we lower the wages of engineers’).

Higher engineer salaries (and mobility, like not waiting years for a green card to process) would allow more engineers to form companies like WhatsApp, but you seem to prefer a top-down approach which favors existing firms like Facebook.

16 Just another MR Commentor February 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Higher engineering salaries result from productivity, if our engineers aren’t earning enough it’s because they are relatively unproductive which is why Silicon Valley has been begging for better engineers from abroad. To be competitive our best inventors such as Mark Zuckerburg need access to top rate help at any price point.

17 Gary S February 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Engineer productivity has grown tremendously in the last decade. ‘Silicon Valley has been begging for better engineers from abroad’ because business and the capitalist class are looking to make (save) money by rigging markets which is much easier than trying to innovate or doing the hard work of recruiting or retaining talent in a market system.

(Anyway, it seems like you are just having fun so won’t comment any more.)

18 johnleemk February 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

If anything is market-rigging, it’s government regulations which prevent non-US people from applying for jobs in the US. People who support selective reduction of these regulations may still be market-riggers, but they are pushing for a reduction in market-rigging nonetheless.

19 Gary S February 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm

It is market rigging when (A) government policy affects a specific profession (engineering) which exempting most every other profession (licensing of doctors and lawyers, for instance) and (B) the ‘temporary non-immigrant visas’ don’t allow individuals to easily change change and not live in fear of being deported.

When the same regulations apply to everyone except one group, that is market rigging.

20 Steve Sailer February 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm

“This is exactly the point engineering wages are now so high that their taking a toll on the profitability of these tech companies.”

Right, Facebook is so broke they could only pony up $16 billion for WhatsApp.

21 jerseycityjoan February 21, 2014 at 2:20 am

If you are claiming that the salaries of the relatively small number of top people who handle product innovation, creation and development at the top of our biggest high tech companies’ are so high that they are hurting their bottom lines and inhibiting theri futures, then please offer up some proof of that.

Do you even know how much do these “overpaid” people make? By how much are you claiming they are overpaid?

See, little me figures the truly essential, key creators who are necessary to keep a Facebook or a Google going in terms of product research and development number in the several hundreds, if that. Google’s big and been around longer, maybe it’s 500 for them. Still, I’m thinking, maybe not; maybe it’s 150 for Facebook and 300 for Google.

In any case, I just can’t see how their salaries, whatever they are, can be hindering these companies.

The way you talk, you have me thinking you believe any and all nonowner employers are overpaid.

Actually, to be honest, I am thinking you are just a jokester, trying to see how far you can go in your exubernace and love for the free market and high tech companies. I say that with no malice or bad intent at all, this is genuinly the impression you are giving me. If I am incorrect, please do not be offended, no offense was meant.

22 Bob February 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

That makes very little sense to me. There are no programmers out there, doing absolutely nothing, because they do not find the rates good enough: Unemployment among experienced programmers is pretty much zero. The market is not so good for entry level programmers though, but that has little to do with them demanding too much pay, but with how hard it is to determine if a recent graduate is great, or a NMP worker.

Want to fix the indentured servants part of H1-Bs? Increase green card cap limits. There’s people waiting for a decade for a green card, knowing their application will be approved the minute it’s looked at. Green card holders can switch jobs at will, will demand higher wages, and thus help drive programmer salaries up. But that would not be protectionist bs, so I doubt many people will favor it.

Now, shortage of scientists? There is no shortage of scientists. Many people with PhDs in science waste away doing jobs that have nothing to do with research because there’s just not enough openings.

23 Steve Sailer February 20, 2014 at 7:40 am

Or maybe Switzerland is attractive to the Einsteins because its strong nationalism has brought it peace and prosperity?

And maybe the Swiss figure they can take the Einsteins without agreeing to take all the Roma from Romania?

24 Just another MR Commentor February 20, 2014 at 7:51 am

But Einstein ultimately moved to America and what we need is a fleet load of new Einsteins.

25 The Anti-Gnostic February 20, 2014 at 9:16 am

In the end, why is it so deathly important to have Einstein here? Why can’t you just buy his book?

Also, there’s no such thing as a “fleet load of new Einsteins.” Einstein was an extraordinary individual.

26 RPLong February 20, 2014 at 9:34 am

Yeah, who needs Einstein when we have Anti-Gnostic and his orthodox religious tribalism.

Say, why did Einstein move to America, anyway? Did it have anything to do with orthodox religious tribalism? Just wondering.

27 dynkin February 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

Yes, the Nazis were orthodox religious tribalists.

28 Harold February 20, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Without orthodox religious tribalism Jews woud have dissolved into their host populations and we would have been deprived of all their subsequent disproportionate contributions to science. Without orthodox religious tribalism Einstein would never have been born.

29 Just another MR Commentor February 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

There might be a million Einsteins out there we never knew about. The legendary journalist and chronicler of globalization, Thomas Freidman, once described how in India one can find stairwells in apartment buildings crammed with students reading chemistry textbooks in their spare time.

30 Guest February 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Give them video games, smart phones, cable television, Netflix and Internet porn and see what happens.

31 Daniel February 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm

>>The legendary journalist and chronicler of globalization, Thomas Freidman,

Legendary? Oh boy.

32 josh February 20, 2014 at 11:43 am

“what we need is a fleet load of new Einsteins.”

or Mexican peasant fruit-pickers or whatever.

33 21st Amendment Absolutist February 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Newton shows us that proximity to Apple trees causes scientific discoveries. Why are nativists so anti-science?

34 dearieme February 20, 2014 at 8:03 am

“maybe the Swiss figure they can take the Einsteins without agreeing to take all the Roma from Romania?” Oh, Mr iSteve, it’s a Crime Against Humanity to notice that different immigrant groups might have different effects on the host country.

35 Doug February 20, 2014 at 8:30 am

I don’t think the major multinationals based in Switzerland would be freaking out about a lack of Roma. It’s not about just blocking the dredges, it’s also about restricting the supply of skilled foreign workers who compete down native middle class wages. Wanting to protect the earning power of native white collar workers is a valid concern, but you have to recognize that a tradeoff does indeed exist. The reality is that the same research scientist in Geneva really is much more productive than he would be in Hamburg. That’s why Novartis can afford to pay him more than BASF.

That means that workers will earn slightly more, but at the end of the day less science gets done. And that’s bad for global human achievement, which ultimately in the long-run is bad for those same Swiss workers.

36 8 February 20, 2014 at 9:41 am

Science does not equal global human achievement. Taleb for one has argued against this reasoning. He cited the Swiss model of education and apprenticeship in Antifragile, which is practical as opposed to theoretical.

37 Peter C March 20, 2014 at 7:13 am

Actually, Einstein hated nationalism. Here is a quote from him:

“Nationalism is the canceer of Mankind.”

38 Ray Lopez February 20, 2014 at 7:58 am

“threatens to spoil Switzerland’s beautiful science landscape” ==> what really threatens to spoil the Franco-Swiss landscape is the successor to the Large Hadron Collider, which will be at least four times as big and they are trying to figure out how to dispose of all the rubble (they’ll have to tunnel under a lake and encircle Geneva if they build it there). A more practical solution would be to build it somewhere else, but we know how parochial some boosters are, and no doubt they will lobby to have it build in Geneva.

39 Finch February 20, 2014 at 10:10 am

Don’t worry too much about it. With the failure of LHC to find evidence of supersymmetry or any other BSM physics, the prospects for funding a new accelerator are not good.

40 Axa February 20, 2014 at 8:06 am

The link does not mention the Erasmus+ program. Negotiations over Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 between Switzerland and the EU are suspended.

Erasmus+ program is about receiving financial aid for studying or doing an internship in another european country. Also, to reduce the difficulty of getting your studies in another country recognized at home university. In 2011, Switzerland’s universities received 2,600 foreign students and sent a similar number of Swiss students to the rest of Europe. It is aimed mostly to undergrads. Horizon 2020 is more oriented to graduate programs research. Big plans like Human Brain Project.

The damage estimated by the University of Genève is losing around 8,000 jobs for the Swiss university system between 2014 and 2020. “Jobs” stands for the funding to Ph. D. students salaries.

41 The Anti-Gnostic February 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Erasmus+ program is about receiving financial aid for studying or doing an internship in another european country.

Of course, because immigration proponents are not really fighting for immigration; they’re fighting for the transfer payments and ability to socialize costs and privatize profits that go along with immigration. That’s what happens when the State and not the market controls immigration. That’s why so-called libertarians want the State’s Open Borders, not the market’s No Borders because in the case of the latter, people get to draw their own.

42 Stefan February 20, 2014 at 8:13 am

The new consitutional text states that the quantitative limits to immigration have to take into account the “gesamtwirtschaftlichen Interessen der Schweiz” (economic interests of Switzerland). It should also be remembered well that Switzerland knew quantitative limits until 2007. This didn’t prevent Berners-Lee from working at the CERN. In fact, the Swiss immigration policy will not differ that much from that of countries like the US oder Australia. Implicit the initiative aimed at reducing low skilled immigration from countries such as Bulgaria or Romania.

Swiss economist Reiner Eichenberger (Fribourg) recently made a proposal to introduce a system which would allow Swiss firms to purchase and trade permissions to hire immigrants.

43 Axa February 20, 2014 at 8:30 am

It’s not about having a secure immigration quota for high IQ individuals. It’s about losing the extra EU funding to pay the salary of university researchers.

The Swiss may find another funding source to keep the university system running fine. But so far, there’s no plan B.

44 Rahul February 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

One point I’m hazy about is what’s the practical implication of the 9-Feb referendum? Are there going to stop free movement at borders? Or merely mandate that all non Swiss employees (including EU nationals) get work authorization?

What’s the exact nature of the change?

45 Axa February 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

There’s almost no illegal immigration in Switzerland in spite of open borders, a few exploited (sex) workers, drug dealers and that’s it. Borders will continue to be as open as today, you drive through the “nothing to declare” lane and you’re in Switzerland. So far, the EU has not declared anything about pushing out Switzerland of Schengen agreement that abolishes border/passport controls.

For the legal immigration, everybody needs to get a work authorization now, EU and the rest of the world. But the requirements were just a job contract, a copy of your passport and sometimes a letter from your home country that you’re not convicted criminal. So far, there was no restriction in the amount of work permits allocated. That’s what the proposal tries to change.

The proposal tries to establish immigration quotas based on the country of origin, make more difficult the family reunion permits for foreign workers and some red tape for employers. Employers from 2015 and on should fill a some papers and discuss with a government official why they are hiring a foreign employee. This was the status quo until 2002, when quotas for foreign workers and family reunion permits were removed. So, the unlimited permits period may last from 2002 to 2015.

In the specific case of research/universities, the EU backlash was applied in the way of a funding cut to Swiss research programs that depended on EU sponsorship.

46 Rahul February 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Thanks! On second thoughts, on a purely utilitarian basis Americans & other non EU professionals (& academics) might actually benefit from this referendum? It’s evening out the playing field.

The preferential treatment other EU citizens received is now diluted or maybe even abolished. Everyone goes through the same red tape & permits that the rest of us non-EU guys do.

47 S February 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

Particles rotting in the fields!

Prediction: CERN and others are still going to be able to hire whomever they want. However, if we cut off mass illegal immigration to Cali the move industry would certainly perish.

48 Z February 20, 2014 at 9:28 am

Maybe the Swiss just like their country being Swiss. For reasons yet explained, Tyler and Alex think the Swiss are horrible monsters. They want their culture removed from the planet. So far these two have yet to explain why, but they are increasing deranged by the Swiss refusal to go along.

49 RPLong February 20, 2014 at 9:36 am

Maybe you’re right!

Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and the Romansh-speaking valleys. Therefore the Swiss, although predominantly German-speaking, do not form a nation in the sense of a common ethnic or linguistic identity; rather, the strong sense of identity and community is founded on a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy,[9] and Alpine symbolism.

I mean I know that’s just stupid Wikipedia, though. It was probably written by a propagandist from the Chinese government…

50 Z February 20, 2014 at 9:49 am

Or perhaps you are missing a chromosome and cannot keep up with these debates. I prefer to keep all options open in these matters. Barring proof to the contrary, you’re staggering ignorance remains an option on the table.

51 RPLong February 20, 2014 at 10:26 am

Yes, it’s possible that people who disagree with you either want Swiss culture removed from the planet or suffer from a mental disability. Another way of saying this is that anyone who disagrees with you is quite possibly either evil or stupid. Seems legit.

52 Z February 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

So we are agreed.

53 8 February 20, 2014 at 9:37 am

Silicon Valley does not understand politics. The smart move is to be against low skill and illegal immigration. Silicon Valley should be leading the push to have illegal immigrants deported and sending big checks to Senator Sessions in Alabama. That way they’ll be able to get their visas even if the door slams shut.

54 Just another MR Commentor February 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

We need mass immigration at all levels of society to move through the adjustment phase onto the next level of technological and economic achievement.

Silicon Valley understands this and the less immigration we let in the slower and more painful this adjustment process will be.

55 Brian Donohue February 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Exactly wrong! Forty years ago, before the great stagnation, life was awesome. I was nine and at the pool and the sun was out, and I don’t even remember my dad being out of work or my mom cleaning neighborhood houses because those things never happened in the good old days before we were overrun with smelly foreigners. OK, we didn’t have chalupas, but it was a pretty sweet gig anyway.

56 Jason February 20, 2014 at 10:05 am

It’s probably easier to propose guaranteed minimum incomes when restricting immigration. I doubt guaranteed minimum incomes and open immigration (or even slightly open immigration) are possible together.

57 Dan February 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

You could have a basic income that is pegged to a fraction of GDP. It would “work” in the sense that the cost would not increase out of line with ability to pay, and could be supported while running a balanced budget.

58 Finch February 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm

It would certainly make the redistributive nature of the program clear, and the effects of adding high and low productivity immigrants clear.

59 Roy February 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

CERN is a Euro wide project, originally French led. It is in Switzerland because of its neutrality.

These catastrophist Nature editorials are really unbelievable. My own field has a lot of politicization and is thus a frequent receiver of them and they are uniformly awful, the only thing worse in the various Nature journals are the utterly useless book reviews. They just ride on the Nature brand name with all the awfulness of a very British university committee.

60 londenio February 20, 2014 at 11:06 am

Almost 8 years reading this blog pretty much every day. And I am still wondering how so many commenters with zealotic views end up here. How are the posts here so zealot-friendly? Why is the average comment more extreme than the average post? Is this a general phenomenon across all blogs?

61 Hoover February 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm

So you came here to do a bit of name-calling.

62 Al February 20, 2014 at 11:06 am

The article (p 227) does not provide a lot of evidence that the Swiss scientific landscape will be harmed because of a (possible) reduced inflow of good scientists in the future. The main problem the article describes is (possible) reduced scientific funding from the EU.

The article at says “the [Swiss] government is free to include provisions that would exempt foreign scientists — and possibly other groups of professionals, such as nurses — from the restrictions altogether.”

It seems the real problem is one of money, and not immigration restrictions on scientists.

63 Hoover February 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

“The main problem the article describes is (possible) reduced scientific funding from the EU”

A cursory scan of the internet suggests they put in a little less money than they get out, but the difference doesn’t seem great.

So their scientists would still be allowed to participate “on a project-by-project basis, as scientists from non-EU or non-associate countries such as the United States already do”, but there might be a little less money floating around.

I suspect they’ll cope.

64 Stefan February 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm

You should not confuse gross with net numbers. Switzerland contributed more than 3.2 billion CHF to the EU’s FP6 and FP7 (Framework Programmes for Research) between 2003 and 2013. Up to June 2012 the backflow to the Swiss scientific community amounted to 2.4 billion CHF. So Switzerland’s participation in the FP actually lead to a net loss of 0.8 billion CHF (which will likely be smaller or even offset if you include the backflow till December 2013). Switzerland decided to contribute another 4.3 billion CHF to “Horizon 2020” (de facto FP8) and it has always been a net contributor to the “Erasmus+” program.

All in all, the expected net financial effect is small and could even be positive for the Swiss scientifc community. The EU’s decision to freeze negotiations over “Horizon 2020” and “Erasmus+” is rather symbolic.

65 Ed February 20, 2014 at 11:21 am

It’s funny how the freedom of movement in Europe was okay until countries with large Roma populations were included. In more sensible times a blanket prohibition of Roma would suffice now you just ban whole countries. Or in the case of the Swiss an entire bloc of countries.

66 Peldrigal February 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Ah, if you could just recognize them at a glance. Like, sewing a brown triangle on their clothes, or tattooing a “Z” on their forearms. Those pesky Romas, that look like anyone else…

67 johnleemk February 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Yes, it is so much fairer to punish non-criminal Roma, as well as non-Roma people. Equal-opportunity oppression for all.

68 Daniel February 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm

>>>Yes, it is so much fairer to punish non-criminal Roma,

Yeah, you’re right. Those 10 shouldn’t be stigmatized by the actions of their brethren.

69 Mm February 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

It probably directed to control Asian immigration – spoils the pure white landscape.

70 revver February 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm

God forbid tourists visit a European country and expect to see white people walking around.

71 Stefan February 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm

No. The only notable Asian community in Switzerland are Tamils from Sri Lanka. They are quite popular among the Swiss.

72 Rahul February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Those are a legacy of the LTTE terrorism refugees?

73 Stefan February 21, 2014 at 8:41 am

Yes. I’ll always remember the despair in the faces of Swiss Tamils during the encirclement of the tiny coast strip held by LTTE in 2009.

An intresting detail: During the war the LTTE was blackmailing many Swiss Tamils. One of my neighbors was supposedly stabbed in the stairway by a LTTE “tax collector” because he refused to go into debt and pass the money to the LTTE. The funding basically was a Ponzi scheme. As long as there was a sufficient influx of so called “taxes” the LTTE paid the interest rates of their “tax payers” and redeemed at least a large part of the loans (mostly consumer credits from GE’s Money Bank and Credit Suisse’s Bank-now).

74 Johan February 21, 2014 at 4:48 am

And where on earth will the poor London city bankers threaten to move to now if they have to pay tax on their bonuses? Threatening to move to Hong Kong will see even less believable.

75 QWERTY February 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Dear Tyler

DO yo know anything about the swiss immigration rules?
Or is it all just “more vs. fewer” immigrants?

D you think the swiss are stupid and that they dont want highly skilled immigrants to work for Novartis, Nestle, CERN….?

Or do you think it is someone else they want to keep out?

76 John Galt III February 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

The Swiss run the only decent country in Europe. The don’t want more Muslims who are useless parasites. They can’t call what they did anti-Muslim and get a way with it, so they called it something else.

We would be wise to do the same but the Democrats are hell bent in getting as many as these religious extremists here as possible. That will not end well. A cursory look at history will prove this point. Anyone saying otherwise is only lying no matter how many words they may wish to write.

77 Brendan February 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Until all of Western Civilization looks like Detroit, Nihilism’s work is not done.

78 BenSix February 23, 2014 at 5:53 am

The Nature editorial writes…

The European Union (EU) has already shown that it is not going to relax its fundamental principles in deference to Swiss xenophobia.

One might have thought that a science magazine would have at least tried to suppress its political biases but clearly not.

79 nike air max 95 March 13, 2014 at 4:37 am

BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) — A Beijing-based Tibetology scholar has criticized the Dalai Lama’s Friday meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House, saying it was another “anti-China farce.” “Once again, the Dalai Lama slipped into the White House Map Room for a so-called ‘unofficial meeting’ with Obama. This was another farce against China,” said Lian Xiangmin, a researcher with the China Tibetology Research Center, in a signed article.

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