Swiss voters rejected a proposal to end an agreement with the EU allowing the free movement of people, with provisional officials results showing that 61.71 per cent said they wanted to maintain free movement, on Sunday.
Monika Ruhl, the president of economiesuisse, a Swiss corporate union, said in Bern that the results were «a clear yes to the bilateral way.»
«This was a very important votation and now we can look forward, hopefully, and go into the future with more active European policies in Swiss politics,» said Laura Zimmermann, the co-president of Operation Libero, a transpartisan political movement in Switzerland.
In Rothrist, politicians who were in favour of the referendum had gathered.
«In my view, in our view is also an opportunity that is not given to resident workers to find a job before a foreign worker who has to look for it on our territory; and we are also on our way to a Switzerland of 10 million people,» commented Marco Chiesa, the president of UDC/SVP, the party that initiated the referendum.
Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, but the country has a series of bilateral treaties with Brussels which allow it to access to EU's free trade area.
A similar initiative to curb immigration from the EU narrowly passed in 2014.