Switzerland's five million male-only voters go to the polls on Sunday (7 June) in a referendum to decide the fate of 300,000 foreign workers who are threatened with expulsion.
SV Foreign workers arriving (2 shots)
SV Construction workers on building site (5 shots)
SV TILT UP Engineering factory and workers leaving (2 shots)
GV EXT Schwartzenbach Campaign headquarters
SV INT Women sorting mail & donations.
GV EXT Students demonstrate with banners (2 shots)
GV EXT Schwartzenbach book shop.
CU Schwartzenbach speaks (SOF)
SV People buy papers
SV Anti-Schwartzenbach posters.
TRANSCRIPT (SEQ 8)
SCHWARTZENBACH: "We have got things which trouble our image much more and which we don't like...garbled...anonymous bank accounts, we have got a lot of money in our country which is not honest money. And you know the problem we have with the States where they say we have got the gangster money of the mafia in our banks. Well this money is invested in our firms here in Switzerland and creates a lot of problems which we don't need at all. We think we have too much money."
INTERVIEWER: "Do you worry about the general moral tone of the country?"
SCHWARTZENBACH: "Yes I really do. We have become a very materialistic country. And this thing is a revolt against our materialism."
INTERVIEWER: "And where does your support come from? What sort of people?"
SCHWARTZENBACH: "Well it's the whole people; it's very interesting to know. It's the good Swiss people."
INTERVIEWER: "Good in what sense?"
SCHWARTZENBACH: "Good in the moral sense, I mean, those people who prefer to be a little less...how shall I say...they are even uh...they wouldn't mind earning a little less money...but staying what they are...namely Swiss."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Switzerland's five million male-only voters go to the polls on Sunday (7 June) in a referendum to decide the fate of 300,000 foreign workers who are threatened with expulsion.
The controversial issue is known as the Schwartzenbach Campaign. James Schwartzenbach, a 58 year old Independent Member of Parliament for Winthour--an industrial town near Zurich, has proposed that the government take drastic action to reduce the number of aliens in the country.
For years Switzerland has relied on foreign labour for its booming industry and has recruited heavily in neighbouring countries....until today one-in-three workers is an alien. Most of them are Italian but there are also spaniards, Austrians, French and West Germans.
The majority take manual jobs that no Swiss would want but many are highly skilled workers.
Swiss authorities have long been aware of the strain the new arrivals put on social services and last March passed legislation to repatriate about 160,000 foreign workers over the next four years. But Mr. Schwartzenbach's plan calls for the expulsion of nearly twice as many.
Industrial leaders claim that the country can't afford to lose so many workers and they are backed by the Government, the churches, organised labour, and virtually the whole Swiss Establishment.
Mr. Schwartzenbach's surprisingly wide support comes from the elder Swiss and the blue collar workers. He was elected in 1967 largely because of his opposition to the "over-alienation" of the country.
He claims that his movement is a revolt against materialism and represents a longing for the food old days...a return to a more moral life. He was asked recently if the thought his campaign would damage Switzerland's reputation in the eyes of the world: