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Switzerland To Restrict Immigration From All EU Countries

The Swiss government plans to limit immigration from all European Union countries starting next month.

Switzerland, which is not an EU member, already has a quota in place for eight Eastern European countries that joined the 27-nation bloc in 2004, as well as special, stricter regulations for the newest EU members, Bulgaria and Romania.

The government said on April 24 it would now impose quotas on residency permits to citizens from the remaining 17 EU countries to "help make immigration more acceptable to society."

Right-wing parties claiming that foreigners are taking away Swiss jobs have gained popularity in recent years.

Under an agreement with the EU, Switzerland can limit the number of EU citizens allowed to work in the country if immigration rises above a certain level.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and AFP