Europe

The Latest: Swiss voters favor easing citizenship

  • Municipal worker  Hiazint Brunold prepares the counting of the votes  in Obersaxen Meierhof, Switzerland, Sunday Feb. 12, 2017. Swiss voters were deciding Sunday whether to make it easier for "third-generation foreigners" to get Swiss citizenship and whether to lock in competitive low tax rates for foreign companies in Switzerland. (Benjamin Manser/Keystone via AP)

    Municipal worker Hiazint Brunold prepares the counting of the votes in Obersaxen Meierhof, Switzerland, Sunday Feb. 12, 2017. Swiss voters were deciding Sunday whether to make it easier for "third-generation foreigners" to get Swiss citizenship and whether to lock in competitive low tax rates for foreign companies in Switzerland. (Benjamin Manser/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A lady casts her vote in Obersaxen, Switzerland, Sunday Feb. 12, 2017. Swiss voters were deciding Sunday whether to make it easier for "third-generation foreigners" to get Swiss citizenship and whether to lock in competitive low tax rates for foreign companies in Switzerland. (Benjamin Manser/Keystone via AP)

    A lady casts her vote in Obersaxen, Switzerland, Sunday Feb. 12, 2017. Swiss voters were deciding Sunday whether to make it easier for "third-generation foreigners" to get Swiss citizenship and whether to lock in competitive low tax rates for foreign companies in Switzerland. (Benjamin Manser/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on Switzerland's referendums on Sunday (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

Early returns show Swiss voters want to make it easier for "third-generation" foreigners to get Swiss citizenship.

Swiss broadcaster SRF said Sunday's projections showed that the "simplified naturalization of third-generation immigrants" measure passed in a national referendum.

It will simplify applications for anyone under 25 whose parents and grandparents have lived in Switzerland for years.

The citizenship referendum was the latest installment of Switzerland's direct democracy that gives voters a frequent say on political decisions.

It strikes at a Europe-wide dilemma about how best to integrate newcomers, but generally involves people from elsewhere in Europe or Turkey whose families have been in the Alpine nation.

While just under 25,000 people would be affected if the measure passes, the long-term implications are far-reaching: Roughly one-fourth of Switzerland's total population of 8.2 million is foreign-born, one of the highest such percentages in Europe.

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7 a.m.

Swiss voters were deciding Sunday whether to make it easier for "third-generation foreigners" to get Swiss citizenship and whether to lock in competitive low tax rates for foreign companies in Switzerland.

The "simplified naturalization of third-generation immigrants" measure is expected to pass in the referendum. It would simplify applications for anyone under 25 whose parents and grandparents have lived in Switzerland for years.

Polls have suggested a tight race over the complex tax reform initiative, which aims to get Switzerland in line with international standards by scrapping a two-track tax system that offers lower rates to foreign firms to lure investment.

Sunday's referendum is the latest installment of Switzerland's direct democracy that gives voters a frequent say on political decisions. A third issue on the national ballot involves infrastructure spending.

Voters in the eastern Graubuenden canton, or region, are also deciding whether to bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.