Results: No to holidays, yes to sex stalls
11 Mar 2012
Switzerland voted against more holidays, while Zurich approved an initiative to shift the sex trade out of the city centre in just two of a series of federal and local referenda held on Sunday.
Under its direct democracy system, any citizen can put a proposal to a vote if he or she manages to get 100,000 eligible voters to support the cause within 18 months.
Here are some of the key questions put to the population, followed by Sunday's results:
LONGER HOLIDAYS: Federal level vote on whether to extend annual holiday entitlements from four weeks currently to six weeks.
Union Travail Suisse had put up the proposal as it found that a third of employees in Switzerland were suffering from stress at work, and that two extra weeks of holidays could remedy the problem.
YES: 33.5 percent
NO: 66.5 percent
HOLIDAY HOMES: Federal level vote on whether to limit the construction of second homes in communes to 20 percent. The issue is particularly pertinent for ski resorts, many of which have seen a building boom. But proponents say such building frenzies "disfigures the landscape" and lead to unaffordable homes for locals.
LOTTERY REVENUES: Federal level vote on whether to allocate all lottery and gambling revenues to public use such as in cultural, social or sports activities. According to Swiss newspaper Le Temps, the two lotteries, Swiss-los and Loterie Romande, generated 2.7 billion francs in revenues in 2010.
PROTEST RESTRICTIONS: Geneva canton vote on whether to impose tougher restrictions on demonstrations. The proposed amendments see fines of up to 100,000 francs on anyone who demonstrates without permission and who does not abide by agreed conditions.
It would also allow authorities to change demonstration itineraries if they posed "disproportionate risks to people" and their property, a move that would give officials the power to ban gatherings in the city centre.
The cantonal government backed proposal has been slammed by a UN expert who says it would "unduly restrict" the rights to free expression.
PROSTITUTION GARAGES: Zurich city vote on whether to build dedicated garages where prostitutes can ply their trade, in a proposal aimed at moving streetwalkers away from residential zones.
Proponents want a parking zone built for prostitutes by 2013 at the entrance to the city. The site would be open from 7pm to 5am and would have an alley where prostitutes and clients can cruise along and garages where they can carry out their transactions.
AFP/The Local (email@example.com)
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