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瑞士公投拒六周带薪假期(英语新闻)

2012年03月22日  来源: 英语点津  作者: Julie 编辑 陈丹妮  英美者 www.EnMajor.com

谁会拒绝长假的诱惑呢?一向以职业道德著称的瑞士人如今似乎正在引领欧洲国家财政紧缩的潮流,该国民众刚刚否决了每人每年至少有六周带薪假期的提议。
瑞士公投拒绝六周带薪假期
Swiss voters reject 6 weeks paid vacation

Who turns down a long vacation? Known for their work ethic, Swiss citizens appear to be leading the way on European austerity, rejecting a minimum six weeks paid holiday a year.

File photo of Swiss. Swiss citizens appear to be leading the way on European austerity, rejecting a minimum six weeks paid holiday a year.

Switzerland counted ballots Sunday for five national referendums, including one pushed by a union to raise the minimum holiday up from four weeks, which is the standard used in Germany, Italy, Russia and other European nations. Some of the nation's 26 cantons (states) also held voting on local measures to deal with everything from demonstrators to prostitutes.

The Swiss heeded warnings from government and business that more vacation would raise labor costs and put the economy at risk. Swiss public broadcaster SSR said two-thirds of voters and all of the cantons had rejected the measure, which required majority approval of all federal and cantonal voters.

"In rejecting the initiative, citizens have kept a sense of reality," said Hans-Ulrich Bigler, director of the Swiss Union of Arts and Crafts, which represents around 300,000 businesses. The referendum, he said in a statement, could have added 6 billion francs ($6.52 billion) a year in labor costs to the Swiss economy, but the vote "clearly shows that the population continues to focus on individual freedom and responsibility of citizens."

Though popular with young people, the referendum on vacation time tested how comfortable the Swiss feel about their traditional safe-haven economy. The nation has fared better than most others in debt-saddled Europe, where the financial sector and governments are being forced to cut spending and pay for expensive bailouts.

But there may have been too much of a good thing for Switzerland: As international traders leery of other nations' financial stability poured money into the safety of Swiss money accounts, the franc jumped in value, putting a dent in Swiss exports and tourism.

The Swiss central bank moved in September to put a lid on the currency's rise by setting a target exchange rate of 1.20 Swiss francs per euro, but the Swiss economy is still expected to slow this year, because of turmoil in the global economy and the eurozone's debt crisis.(Agencies)

谁会拒绝长假的诱惑呢?一向以职业道德著称的瑞士人如今似乎正在引领欧洲国家财政紧缩的潮流,该国民众刚刚否决了每人每年至少有六周带薪假期的提议。

瑞士周日就五项政策举行全民公决,其中包括由瑞士工会提出的,将每年的带薪假期由至少四周增加到至少六周的提案,目前,德国、意大利、俄罗斯和其他欧洲国家实行的都是这一标准。瑞士的26个州也就一些本地政策举行表决,涉及范围非常广泛,牵涉人群有示威者也有性工作者。

公投前,瑞士政府和商界都发出了警告,称延长假期将提高劳动力成本,威胁瑞士经济。据瑞士公共广播公司SSR报道,三分之二的选民和所有州都否决了这项提议,而提议要获得通过,就要得到联邦和各州全部选民的多数支持。

瑞士工艺美术业工会主任汉斯-乌里齐•比格勒尔说:“公众否决了这项提议,非常现实。”该工会代表着大约30万家企业。他在声明中说,如果这项提议通过公决,那么每年将增加60亿瑞士法郎 (约合65.2亿美元)的人力成本,但投票结果“清楚地表明,人们不仅关注个人自由,同时也愿意承担公民义务”。

尽管受到年轻人的欢迎,这次有关假期的公投检验出人们对传统上有“经济安全港”之称的瑞士经济的满意程度。和一些陷入债务危机、财政部门和政府不得不削减开支来偿还紧急援助巨款的欧洲国家相比,瑞士的经济情况要好得多。

但对瑞士来说也有坏消息:由于国际贸易者怀疑其他国家的金融稳定性,把太多钱存在瑞士的账户,导致瑞士法郎升值,对瑞士的出口和旅游业造成打击。

瑞士央行去年9月暂停货币升值,将瑞士法郎与欧元最低比价定为1.20瑞郎对1欧元。但由于受到全球经济低迷和欧债危机的影响,预计今年瑞士的经济还将下滑。(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑:陈丹妮)
 
Vocabulary:

referendum: 投票,公投

bailout: 紧急(财政)援助

leery: 猜疑的

put a lid on: 禁止,限制



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