Switzerland's Residents Vote for 'Netflix Tax,' Increase in Funding for Frontex
ZURICH (Sputnik) - The majority of the Swiss on Sunday voted for the requirement for streaming services, such as Netflix, to allocate 4% of their annual turnover to support the Swiss movie industry and for the increase in funding for European border agency Frontex in a referendum.
The initiative on the "Netflix tax" was supported by 58.42% of residents and opposed by 41.58%.
Swiss broadcasters already devote 4% of their annual profits to the local movie industry; however, the tax was not imposed on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney, and other streaming platforms. The Swiss government and parliament had earlier recommended that the initiative be passed, but the opposition to the tax had voiced concerns over the possible increase in subscription prices.
The initiative on the increased annual contribution to Frontex was supported in 71.48% to 28.52% vote.
The Migrant Solidarity Network and other migrant support organizations in Switzerland initiated the referendum on funding soon after the Swiss National Council approved the increase in financial support to Frontex from $24 million to $61 million. The organizations stressed that the agency is a symbol of a migration policy based on isolation and violence and criticized its militarization of borders and criminalization of migration. The initiative to hold the referendum was backed by the Social Democrats, the Green Party, and other left-wing parties in Switzerland. The government warned voters that Switzerland could be expelled from the Schengen area if the funding is rejected.
The Swiss also supported the initiative on organ transplantation stipulating that anyone who did not explicitly disagree with the organ transplantation while alive can be considered a donor. Before, the Swiss legislature required a person to give his consent for organ transplantation after his death while alive. The initiative was voted in by 60.2% in favor and 39.8% against.