Wanna be Swiss? Don’t wear sweatpants and always say hello

http://www.thelocal.ch/20160609/immigrant-family-denied-swiss-citizenship-over-choice-of-clothes

Sweatpant-wearing family denied Swiss passports
Published: 09 Jun 2016 09:08 GMT+02:00

A family from Kosovo who are long-term residents in Switzerland have had their application for citizenship refused, partly due to their habit of wearing jogging bottoms.

According to local paper the Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, in 2005 the Halili family received huge support from the village of Bubendorf, in the canton of Basel-Country, when the authorities were considering sending them back to Kosovo .

As a result of that support, they were granted residency in Bubendorf in 2006.

But on May 18th this year the family found that support had waned, as their application for citizenship was denied by a resident-led committee in the village.

The family had met the formal requirements for naturalization and had proved that they knew the customs and geography of the region, reported the paper.

All four of them speak German, one local resident confirmed.

Nevertheless, some members of the committee judged that the family were not Swiss enough.

Among the complaints against them was the fact that they often wore sweatpants in the village rather than jeans.

Another was that they did not greet people in passing.

“The arguments against the naturalization were purely emotional,” local resident and president of the committee Roger Frey told the paper.

The decision has surprised many commentators.

Speaking to Le Matin, Florian Pariset, administrator of naturalisation-Switzerland.ch, said: “When I was preparing to obtain citizenship, I was more worried about the history of William Tell than about my clothes.”

“At no moment did I think ‘I hope no one sees me in jogging bottoms’.”

According to the naturalization rules in the canton of Basel-Country, those seeking citizenship must be able to speak German to B1 level and be integrated in Swiss and local customs.

While the formal requirements are verified by the canton, which also conducts the candidate’s personal interview, the mayor or council of the commune in question “leads the integration discussion” on the applicant and votes in an open ballot.

“Negative decisions must be justified,” say the rules.
According to the Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, the refusal of a citizenship application is very rare in Basel-Country.

Contacted by The Local, the Basel-Country and Bubendorf authorities were unavailable for comment.

A spokesperson for the Swiss federal migration office (SEM) told The Local it was not their place to comment.

“As part of the process of regular naturalization Swiss citizenship is acquired by naturalization in a canton and commune. In other words, the decision-making power belongs primarily to the aforementioned authorities,” said the spokesperson, adding, however, that the SEM does have a right of veto.

“Even if the whole facts in the case were known to us, it is not for the SEM to comment on the decision of a canton or commune.”

Ikean’t believe it!

1.7 million dollars. That’s how much a Swedish Chauffeur working at the United Nations is claiming in damages for injuries sustained after falling off a ladder while assembling an Ikea wardrobe for his employer.

No word yet how many husbands will now have legal precedent to sue their wives for forcing them to buy the self-assembly flatpacks conceived by the devil.

State of “The State of the Union”

If you want to know what’s wrong with the current state of the self-proclaimed “Greatest Country in the World!” all you have to know is that seven states currently have “state guns.” That’s right. Just seven. Seven out of fifty. Fourteen percent! You can bet they all have state flowers and state birds and even state flags. But in the land of the free, home of the brave, with a constitutional right to walk around short-sleeved (bare arms), only seven states have bothered to recommend a gun for their citizens to shoot squirrels, trespassers and commie-terrorist-nazis with. Meanwhile, Yemen has a greater-guns-per citizen ratio than the “most powerful nation in the world.” Yemen! (which has no need to nominate a state gun, what with every male over fourteen sporting a Kalashnikov over their shoulder, nicely complementing the jhamibiya dagger on their belt. Now that I think of it, maybe that’s the problem right there; how many daggers do you see on men’s belts these days? Men? Hell, they’d make nice fashion accessories for any gender, what with their ivory handles and jewel-encrusted hilts.

Train station with one student passenger to stay open until she graduates

Train station with one student passenger to stay open until she graduates

The Daily Buzz
The Daily Buzz
January 13, 2016

A desolate Japanese train station will remain open until after the sole high school student who regularly uses it graduates later this year.

Every weekday, Kana Harada boards the train at Kyu-Shirataki Station, which is an hour ride to her school in the main city of Asahikawa. Her parents drive her to the station every morning, which take about five minutes, and Harada boards the 7:16 a.m. train. She’s usually the only passenger waiting on the platform.

About 10 other students are onboard the train once Harada gets on and she uses the hour-long ride to read, do homework or listen to music.

With only three services stopping at Kyu-Shirataki Station in the afternoon, Harada usually has to rush straight from school to catch the last train home.

After reviewing passenger numbers, Japan Rail Hokkaido had planned to close a number of lesser-used stations along their line, but decided to postpone the closure of Kyu-Shirataki after learning about Harada’s story.

The station is scheduled to close in March of this year, once she’s graduated.