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Clare Doole reports from Geneva
"The report's authors say anti-semitism has not died down"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 17:51 GMT
Swiss anti-semitism 'deeply rooted'

Swiss banks paid Holocaust survivors 1.25bn
A survey in Switzerland suggests that anti-semitism remains deeply rooted in the country.

It indicates that 16% of Swiss people are fundamentally anti-semitic, while 60% have anti-semitic sympathies.

The US and Swiss Jewish organisations behind the survey say it shows the wave of anti-semitism that hit Switzerland in 1998 over the return of dormant bank accounts to Holocaust survivors has not died down.

gold
Swiss banks were accused of handling property looted by Nazis from Jews including gold teeth
Switzerland's two biggest banks agreed to pay Holocaust survivors $1.25bn compensation for wartime losses after prolonged international pressure from Jewish groups.

"In the main the Swiss are untroubled by Switzerland's conduct toward Jews in the context of the Holocaust," said the New York based American Jewish Committee, which joined with Geneva's Inter-Community Co-ordination against Anti-Semitism and Defamation to commission the survey.

A majority of those questioned accepted the December 1999 conclusion of a government-appointed panel that Switzerland, which took in nearly 30,000 Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, "turned away refugees who were in danger of being killed".

But only 35% thought Switzerland took in too few Jews, while 43% said the number accepted was the "right amount."

The telephone survey was carried out by the Swiss-based GFS polling organisation among 1,210 adults in January.

Town rejects immigrants

The survey result followed a Swiss town's rejection of all but eight of 23 applications from foreigners for Swiss citizenship in a procedure which allows applications to be decided by citizens.

Voters in Emmen near Lucerne were sent photographs of the applicants and other personal details - including taxable income - as a basis on which to make their decision, which took place along with a range of other national and local votes.

Eight Italians were the only applicants to obtain Swiss citizenship while families from the former Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary and Turkey were rejected.

It was the second time that Emmen had decided directly on such applications, after the procedure was put forward last year by the Swiss Democrats, a small nationalist party.

Direct votes on citizenship have been used for some time in other parts of central Switzerland.

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03 Jul 98 | Europe
Swiss banks and Jewish gold
12 Aug 98 | Americas
Nazi victims agree $1bn deal
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