Marginal Revolution reports on why Nancy Holten, 42, had her application for Swiss citizenship rejected – twice.
In Switzerland citizenship applications are decided primarily by the cantons and communes where the applicant lives, rather than federal authorities.
Holten was born in the Netherlands but grew up in Switzerland from the age of eight, speaks fluent Swiss German and has children with Swiss citizenship. A vegan and supporter of animal rights, she gained a reputation in her community of Gipf-Oberfrick, in the canton of Aargau, after campaigning against cowbells, claiming they were damaging to cows’ health.
She has also objected to hunting and piglet racing, and complained about the noise of church bells in the village, campaigns that have seen her regularly interviewed in the Swiss press over the past few years.
In Holten’s case it seems her campaigning has not won her many friends in the village, with the president of the local branch of the Swiss People’s Party, Tanja Suter, telling the media that Holten has a “big mouth”.
The commune did not want to give Holten the “present” of Swiss citizenship “if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions”, said Suter.
Wikipedia that as of June 2009, 10.6% of Gipf-Oberfrick’s population are foreign nationals. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (93.9%), with Albanian being second most common (1.1%) and Italian being third ( 0.9%).