Swiss citizens have rejected a national referendum which proposed to raise the minimum paid vacation to six weeks from the current four.
Known for their work ethic, the Swiss had heeded warnings from the government and business leaders that increasing the number of annual holidays would raise labour costs and put the economy at risk. It was announced by the Swiss public broadcaster SSR that two-thirds of voters had declined having an additional two weeks of paid vacation. “In rejecting the initiative, citizens have kept a sense of reality,” Hans-Ulrich Bigler, director of the Swiss Union of Arts and Crafts said. He added that the referendum could have added six billion francs ($8.2bn) in labour costs and weighed the Swiss economy down.
The four weeks of paid vacation that Switzerland has is below other European nations such as Germany, Italy and Russia. However, Switzerland has fared better than most of its debt-laden neighbours in Europe, where the financial sector and governments are being forced to cut spending and pay for expensive bailouts.
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