Europe's migrant crisis grabs limelight in Swiss election

The issue of migrants has monopolised the debate in the run-up to elections, with the latest survey showing nearly half thought migration was the most important issue facing the countryChiasso (Switzerland) (AFP) – “We should be helping our own people before giving them handouts,” says Gianpaolo Ferrari, glancing towards the African men clustered around Chiasso’s main square. The 58-year-old restaurant worker in this small southern Swiss town on the Italian border echoes sentiments held by many here and across Switzerland, where migrants and asylum policies top the concerns of voters ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections. The populist, right-wing, anti-immigration Swiss People’s Party (SVP) looks set to strengthen its position as the country’s largest party, with the latest polls suggesting it enjoys nearly 28 percent support.

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