January 17, 2018

SWITZERLAND: Swiss Town Denies Swiss Citizenship To Dutch Vegan Because She Is ‘Too Annoying’. Wow They Don't Mess Around. 😦

Yahoo News
written by Andy Wells
January 11, 2017

A Dutch vegan who applied for a Swiss passport has had her application rejected because the locals found her too annoying.

Nancy Holten, 42, moved to Switzerland from the Netherlands when she was eight years old and now has children who are Swiss nationals.

However, when she tried to get a Swiss passport for herself, residents of Gipf-Oberfrick in the canton of Aargau rejected her application.

Ms Holten, a vegan and animal rights activist, has campaigned against the use of cowbells in the village and her actions have annoyed the locals.

The resident’s committee argued that if she does not accept Swiss traditions and the Swiss way of life, she should not be able to become an official national.

Ms Holten told local media: “The bells, which the cows have to wear when they walk to and from the pasture, are especially heavy.

“The animals carry around five kilograms around their neck. It causes friction and burns to their skin.”

She added: “The sound that cow bells make is a hundred decibel. It is comparable with a pneumatic drill. We also would not want such a thing hanging close to our ears?”

Tanja Suter, the president of the local Swiss People’s Party, claimed Ms Holten has a “big mouth” and that residents did not want to grant her citizenship “if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions”.

Responding to the rejection, Ms Holten said: “I think I spoke my mind too often, and I say it out too loud.”

Ms Holten, who describes herself as a freelance journalist, model and drama student, has also campaigned against a number of other Swiss traditions like hunting, pig races and the noisy church bells in town.

She was previously rejected for citizenship in 2015 after residents voted to block her initial application.

The case has now been transferred to the Cantonal government in Aargau, which can overrule the decision and can still grant her a Swiss passport despite the objections of the locals.

Local residents in Switzerland often have a say in citizenship applications, which are decided by the cantons and towns where the applicants live rather than federal government.

It is still very difficult to be granted Swiss citizenship and being born in the country does not give the children or even the grandchildren of immigrants the automatic right to be Swiss. (WOW 😦)
CNN
written by Elizabeth Roberts, CNN
January 13, 2017

A vegan woman has twice had her application for Swiss citizenship rejected because annoyed locals object to her "loud" opinions about animal rights.

Dutch national Nancy Holten, 42, has lived in Switzerland for more than 30 years. There, applications for citizenship are determined by local governments -- sometimes with input from residents.

And among the requirements are that a person is integrated in the Swiss way of life and familiar with Swiss customs and traditions.

And therein lies the issue the residents of Gipf-Oberfrick have with Holten.

She's repeatedly spoken out in the media against cowbells, church bells, hunting and other traditions -- which the residents consider Swiss values.

Holten says she has annoyed farmers and conservative residents.

So, the municipality turned down her application for citizenship in 2015 and again last year.

"Shortly before [the applications] she had begun to fight against various Swiss values such as church bells, cowbells, livestock farming, hunting, pig racing, eating meat, circus animals, mouse-catching, giving out milk at school, etc. She did this above all in the media," Urs Treier, a spokesman for the municipal council, told CNN.

Treier said the rejection was "on the basis that a person who sets themselves against so many of Switzerland's shared values, practices and traditions, and does this in person, directly and above all, loudly, in the press, should not be granted citizenship."

Meets criteria, but not approval

Gipf-Oberfrick is a municipality in the northern Switzerland with a population of about 3,500.

"Gipf-Oberfrick is rural and there are farmers and conservative residents here. They aren't used to green topics being discussed so openly," Holten told CNN. "As a vegan, I campaign publicly for animals. That annoys a lot of people."

"It also bothers them that I've been (and continue to be) in the media so much. I do this in order to make people think more about the issue of animal protection. That's my wish."

Holten describes herself as as a freelance journalist, model and drama student. She says she's against cowbells because she believes they damage the animals' health. A 2014 research report from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in suggest the bells can make bovines deaf.

She also believes church bells are too noisy and unnecessary.

Holten said she meets all the criteria for citizenship. And Treier agrees.

He told CNN Holten's applications were rejected despite the municipal and cantonal authorities having no formal objection, and Holten meeting all legal requirements. He added this is the first time in 20 years that Gipf-Oberfrick has blocked such an application.

Holten is now appealing to the government of the canton of Aargau, which oversees Gipf-Oberfrick. Treier expects her appeal will be upheld.

"Nancy Holten's attitude speaks to her personal view of the world. In Switzerland, the freedom of expression is enshrined in law. Citizenship cannot be denied on the basis of personal opinion," he said.

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