Source (photo and text): Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
The result is clear: with 64.8% “yes”, the voting people in Argovia has accepted the strengthening of the procedure to get the Swiss nationality in this Canton.
Argovia succeeds in making the hurdles to become Swiss higher than in the most of the other cantons. Who wants to get the Swiss pass shall not have got any social assistance in the last ten years. In the other cantons the minimal requirements are not so strict. An applicant shall not have got any social assistance in the last three years and shall not be dependent on social assistance during the application for the Swiss nationality.
If you wish to become Swiss in Argovia, do not lose your job, otherwise it will be a long(er) way!!
Collage of two pictures taken from Wikipedia.
On February 9th, in Switzerland a new referendum, pride of the direct Helvetian democracy, will take place.
Two questions… plus one additional, only in Canton Argovia. The Argovian proposal wants to increase from three to ten years the minimum possible period without receiving benefits from the social assistance (i.e. without unemployment) to be able to apply for the Swiss citizenship.
This strict requirement is even overruling the federal laws which currently accept three years only.
Why? They say that only in that way the possible applicants for the Swiss passport would really prove their “Swissness”. In a country where jobs are quite flexible and the possibility to fire a worker does not require particular justifications, the Argovian statement is quite… disputable!
The Christmas time is traditionally finishing with the celebrations of January 6th.
In some countries this day is even a public and religious holiday.
The Christian church celebrates the arrival of the three kings to see and adore the newborn Jesus.
Coming from Italy and living in Switzerland, I (and especially the kids) can “celebrate” in two different ways, following different popular customs.
The Italian tradition says that in the night of January 6th an old woman, a kind of witch (called in Italian “Befana”) comes and brings sweets to the good children and coal to the bad ones. In order to get these presents, the kids have to hang an empty sock in the living room, which this old woman eventually fills in overnight…
This year the children got a lot of chocolates from “Befana”. And I can finally say that they deserved them!
The Swiss tradition (Unfortunately in our Canton, Argovia, January 6th is not a public holiday) celebrates this day by eating the so-called three king sweet bread.
All the main supermarkets sell it… or you should even bake it at home, if you can. The bread is sold in a package with a golden crown… Inside one of the pieces of this bread a very small figurine (2-3 cm) of one of the three kings is carefully hidden. The person who finds this miniaturised king (if he or she does not break the teeth) can happily wear the golden crown!
This year I was the lucky one! I was almost swallowing the small king, but I fortunately realised that it would have been better to save it from an inglorious and pathless travel into my bowel!
The pumpinks are smiling also in Switzerland in the night of Halloween!
It should be certainly a trick, rather than a treat…
… especially if you think that one of the most American “celebrations” is very popular also in the Confederation, where the USA are not so beloved and it is very rare to find someone not blaming the US for something!
Picture: copyright Nike.
A nice slogan by one of the most famous sportwears in the world.
It seems to be a slogan also in Switzerland, for sure in the German speaking Switzerland, where the Confederates speak their “Mundart” (Swiss German dialect).
DAS CHASCH VERGÄSSE! (You can forget it!)
The noisy sentence above is quite interesting, especially in the work environment, which is one of the main sources of nice portraits of the most genuine Switzerland.
Whenever a Swiss is cornered by a colleague with a difficult question or a certain activity to complete within a tight due date, he/she starts declaiming the mentioned slogan. Possibly repeating it more than once to chase away any possible doubt!
Are you asking a Swiss something which is slightly outside his/her mindset?
Are you needing something from a Swiss which is not the most common thing he/she was expecting?
YOU CAN FORGET IT!
Finally it’s done! My tax declaration 2018 is completed.
I just brought it to the finance department of my village today, tightly complying with the usual due date of the 31st of March!
In Switzerland the fiscal federalism is an actual reality! As calculated in the declaration, 85% of my taxes will be used in the Canton and the village and just 15% for the state.
Therefore the money will be mainly used “locally” to cover the needs of the population.
As a motivation for the tax declaration, together with the instructions, we, in Canton Argovia, received an interesting letter explaining some facts about our Canton and the use of the tax money in the last five years.
The population increased by 5.4% from 636’000 to 670’000.
The number of children in the primary school and kindergarten increased by 5.2% from 73’500 to 77’400.
The jobs in the Canton for every 1’000 inhabitants decreased from 6.1 to 5.6 since 2013.
In 2017, Canton Argovia could reduce its debts by 67.5 million CHF.
The “Programm Hightech Aargau” promotes innovation with 26.5 million CHF.
Canton Argovia supports companies which are developing innovative products or applying efficient processes.
The offer of digital services of Canton Argovia is continuously increasing with 5G-E-Government projects. For example, now it is possible to register an address change just electronically.
These facts show that the money paid with the taxes is operationally used near us, for us!
In Switzerland it’s happening… in many other countries not really!
Photo from Wikipedia “Rail transport in Switzerland”.
In a series of posts, I will tell you now the various steps, hurdles or (as the Led Zeppelin would say) the Starway to Heaven, which I needed to overcome and climb to reach the treasured Swiss nationality.
According to the instructions given on the relevant website (“Ordinary naturalisation of foreigners in Argovia” – “Ordentliche Einbürgerung von Ausländer/-innen im Aargau”), I started the online procedure for the Swiss nationality (Naturalisation) for myself on the 22nd April 2017.
After two days, the “Inhabitants control” department (Einwohnerkontrolle) of my village already gave me some very good news. Even if it was not so clearly mentioned on the internet instructions, they confirmed that I could have applied for my whole family!
Of course I proceeded in this way straight away! One day after this important detail, I quickly got the forms and explanations for the application by mail in a precious fat envelope.
The next step consisted on the collection of all the papers needed to complete the application form…
Picture from Amazon.com
My blog is titled “Real Swiss – A Foreigner in Switzerland”.
Today I received a quite important letter. It announced that, after nearly two years from the official application, together with my family, I have become Swiss!
“Der Grosse Rat” of Canton Argovia took the topic decision!
And in one month, after all the administrative procedures are complete, we will be able to apply for the ID and the passport of the Confederation!
We will be pleased, as the letter encourages, to participate in the Swiss political life!
From now on: Absolutely Real Swiss and no longer (or not too much) foreigner in Switzerland!
The extremely organised and scientifically sized garbage collectors on the streets or at the bus stops have the main aim to prevent anyone from disposing big bags in these bins.
Good! Perfect! Smart!
But the practical life was not considered at all in these calculations!
For example, after the Saturdays’ nightlife and leisure, on a sleepy Sunday morning, I found the garbage collector at the bus stop under my house in this condition (see photos).
Pizza, plastic bottles, cans: what else? It would be nice if they could fit INTO the garbage bin, not just lying ON it…
These garbage objects probably look exactly the same as their last “owners” after a long night: snoring, burping and with a terrible headache!
See also my previous post on this matter: https://geoch1.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/surgically-sized-garbage-collectors/
Picture from “thelocal.ch”
Today it’s my 18th anniversary in Switzerland.
A lot of things had happened since that cold and snowy 31st January 2001…
Time has passed so fast! Maybe because in Switzerland time is faster than anywhere else? Or perhaps I just really have a lot of fun…!