Germans ‘stealing our jobs’: Swiss politician

A right-wing Swiss politician left her audience gobsmacked when she denounced German immigrants who were coming to Switzerland and “stealing our jobs”.

Germans ‘stealing our jobs’: Swiss politician
Photo: DPA

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.

The Local/jcw

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Ukrainian refugees push up German unemployment rate

Germany's unemployment rate rose for the first time in two years in June, figures published Thursday showed, as refugees fleeing Russia's war on Ukraine swelled the pool of job seekers.

Ukrainian refugees push up German unemployment rate

The indicator rose to 5.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, up from five percent in May, according to the BA federal labour agency.

Overall the number of unemployed rose by 133,000, also on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The sharp increase was due to the “extensive registration of Ukrainian refugees at job centres”, the BA said in a statement.

People escaping the conflict started by Russian President Vladimir Putin in February were now “visible” in employment statistics, BA chief, Detlef Scheele said in a statement.

Over five million Ukrainians have been registered as refugees in Europe according to the UNHCR, with hundreds of thousands finding their way to Germany.

But not all of them have found work corresponding to their qualifications, with the German language also creating a significant barrier.

Worker shortage goes up

At the same time, several sectors were facing shortages of workers, with 877,000 vacant posts, up 184,000 from the same month last year.

“Many companies are desperately seeking skilled workers,” said Fritzi Koehler-Geib, chief economist at the public lender KfW.

The shortage was particularly acute for skilled positions, Koehler-Geib said.

“This is a vulnerability of the German economy that has been building for a long time,” she said.

READ ALSO: Germany struggles with growing worker shortage