Yesterday I was upset to hear that the Swiss government has cut the number of B-permits it issues each year to non-EU residents from 5,000 to 2,500. That's a cut of 50% this year (50%!). The country is so paranoid about its 4% unemployment rate (4%!) that as usual, the foreigners are becoming its scapegoats.
But as an unemployed foreigner, I speak from experience that about half the people in my local unemployment office appear to also be foreigners. So let's see. We're not taking Swiss people's jobs, we're losing our own. We get laid off first. And now, to add insult to injury, we also get kicked out first.
The head of the HR department at my husband's international company told him she is frustrated with this as well because it makes hiring personnel all the more difficult. She can't find enough Swiss engineers to fill the positions at her company to save her life, but now the government won't let her hire those she can find because heaven forbid, they're the Non-EU version of the F-word.
According to her (and she's Swiss), Non-EU B-permit holders are not typically taking jobs away from the Swiss. If you want to see who is, head over to your local Aldi and listen to the cashiers speaking high German there. Most Non-EU B-permit holders are working in highly specialized jobs that could not be filled by a Swiss and is the reason they were allowed into Switzerland in the first place.
And in my opinion (I'm not biased of course!), losing half of a highly-qualified workforce will only hurt Switzerland's economy in the long run, not help it. But who needs engineers anyway?
Anyhow, that's my little "raclette rant" of the day. Anyone else have an opinion on this?