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Swiss Voters Reject Capping Immigration, Taxes On Rich Foreigners

Swiss voters have rejected proposals that would have severely restricted immigration and eliminated tax cuts for wealthy foreigners living in the country.

The immigration issue on the November 30 referendum would have limited immigration to some 17,000 people a year -- about 25 percent of the current total -- in the name of preserving the environment.

Some 78 percent of voters rejected it, while 60 percent voted against an initiative to eliminate special tax breaks to rich foreigners in Switzerland.

Some 25 percent of the workforce in Switzerland consists of foreigners.

A third proposal would have forced the government to increase its gold reserves, but it was also overwhelmingly rejected.

The November 30 ballot is the second time this year that the non-EU country has voted on immigration.

In February, the Swiss reintroduced quotas, effectively opting out of a free movement of people agreement with Brussels.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP