Swiss voters reject longer holidays in referendum

A man votes in Carouge, Switzerland Swiss voters went to the polls in five referendums on Sunday

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Voters in Switzerland have rejected a proposal to give themselves more annual leave in a national referendum.

The plan would have given workers six weeks off a year, but business groups warned about the cost to the economy.

In other referendums, voters in Zurich agreed to the creation of "sex boxes" where prostitutes can work. In Geneva, residents voted to tighten restrictions on street protests.

Referendums are a key part of Switzerland's direct democracy system.

The Swiss frequently have their say on changes to laws, budgets, or any issue that 100,000 citizens say they feel strongly about.

Democracy in action

Two-thirds of voters reportedly rejected an increase in the country's minimum annual leave from four weeks to six, which would have brought it in line with most other West European countries.

But a proposal to construct what have locally been referred to as "sex boxes" for prostitutes got the green light from voters in Zurich.

The plan would see the creation of special parking spaces with walls between them where sex workers can ply their trade away from suburban areas in Switzerland's biggest city.

Residents in Geneva, meanwhile, voted for tighter restrictions on unauthorised demonstrations and tougher fines for violators.

The United Nations Human Rights Council, the International Committee of the Red Cross and numerous other major international organisations are based in the city, making it a focal point for protesters.

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