A Walk Along the Swiss Border

In a few weeks, Switzerland will vote on a proposal to dramatically restrict immigration. A group called Ecopop has gathered enough signatures to hold a referendum that proposes to limit immigration to 0.2 percent of the resident population. The new limit would be 75 percent lower than current levels, about 16,000 immigrants per year. Reuters photographer Denis Balibouse took the occasion to make a photo survey of the border regions Switzerland shares with France, Italy, Germany, and Austria. [21 photos total]

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1
Roped parties of climbers walk on a glacier marking the border with Switzerland (left) and Italy on the way to the summit of the Breithorn at 4,164 meters (13,661 feet) in the Alpine resort of Zermatt on August 4, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
2
A Swiss aircraft is seen at Cointrin airport on the border with France (front) and Switzerland in Ferney Voltaire near Geneva on April 28, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
3
A marker stands at the Dreisprachenspitze (Three Languages Peak) in front of the road to the Stelvio Pass at the border between Italy (R) and Switzerland in Tschierv May 13, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
4
The Saut du Doubs waterfall, on the border between Switzerland (L) and France in Villers-le-Lac April 23, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
5
Military enthusiasts dressed as World War I soldiers (L-R French, Swiss and German) shake hands above a marker during a re-enactment in Le Largin near Bonfol in the Jura July 20, 2014. Le Largin, where Germany, France and Switzerland met in 1914, was the kilometer zero mark of the Western Front during WWI. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
6
A tractor drives past WWII military defenses, known as "toblerone", at the border between Liechtenstein (behind) and Switzerland in Flaesch on May 14, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
7
A replica of a Diatryma stands in the dinosaur themed Prehisto Parc at the border with France (front) and Switzerland in Reclere on April 24, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
8
A marker stands on a ridge dividing Switzerland (L) and Italy (R) at the Monte Generoso near Mendrisio May 11, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
9
A sign marks the border between France (back) and Switzerland (front) at the disused Tonkin railway track in Saint-Gingolph on April 22, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
10
Swiss Customs officers walk back to their vehicle after checking a path on the border between Italy and Switzerland in Arzo May 12, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
11
Stalagmites grow in a cave on the border with France (behind) and Switzerland (front) in Reclere on April 24, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
12
Luta Menduh, captain with the Lake Geneva General Navigation Company (CGN), steers his ship on Lake Leman on the border between Switzerland and France near Lausanne on May 8, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
13
A sign in front of the Punt dal Gall dam marks the border between Italy and Switzerland in Zernez on May 13, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
14
A sign on the Punt dal Gall dam marks the border between Italy and Switzerland in Zernez on May 13, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
15
Three countries corner on the Rhein river where the borders between France (L), Switzerland (sculpture) and Germany meet in Basel on April 30, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
16
A lizard rests on a marker at the border between Italy (back) and Switzerland (front) at Santa Margerita near Stabio on May 12, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
17
Roped parties of climbers walk on a glacier marking the border between Switzerland (right) and Italy on the way to the summit of the Breithorn in the Alpine resort of Zermatt on August 4, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
18
A sign on the Punt dal Gall dam marking the border between Italy and Switzerland in Zernez on May 13, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
19
A fleur-de-lis coat of arms and the Franche Comte Lion adorn a marker, dating from 1649, on the France (front) to Switzerland (back) border in the Marguerites Forest near Lajoux in the Vallee de Joux on April 9, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
20
The route of the border is engraved on the top of a marker on a ridge dividing Switzerland (L) and Italy (R) at the Monte Generoso near Mendrisio on May 11, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
21
Climbers leave the summit of Breithorn at 4,164 meters (13,661 feet) on the ridge marking the border with Switzerland (left) and Italy in the Alpine resort of Zermatt on August 4, 2014. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #

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