Natalie Rickli is a member of the Swiss People's Party (SVP), the biggest party in the country, notorious for its anti-immigration campaigns generally directed against Muslims and people of non-white or non-European heritage.
“Honestly, people are getting worried because there are too many Germans living in Switzerland,” she said while taking part in Sunday's SonnTalk political talk show on the Telezüri channel.
Wednesday's Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper said she talked of a flood of Germans coming over the border and putting pressure on the job and housing markets. She claimed she had received countless letters from Swiss people who had lost their jobs to young Germans.
“There are many, many Swiss who think like this,” she told the host, but could not give any examples, instead referred to the ‘young Germans' who were allegedly snapping up jobs.
Other guests on the talk show were shocked by Rickli's claim, including the head of the Green Liberal Party Martin Bäumle who told Rickli that the idea of preventing Germans from entering Switzerland was “obscene” as the majority of them were doing “a super job.”
The Swiss government just passed a law limiting how many Eastern European immigrants would be granted a work permit this year. The limit applies to eight countries including Poland and Hungary.
The reform has been under discussion for some years in Switzerland and was touched on by Rickli on the television show. She told the host that she wished the law had been passed in 2009, when there was a chance of it including Germany.