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Swiss approve proposal for global streaming services to invest some of their revenue in Switzerland


Just over 58% of voters supported the proposal, according to the final result, in one of the three national votes cast in the Swiss system of direct democracy.

Switzerland will become the latest European country to introduce such measures to support local television and film production and to stimulate locally produced content.

“This result underscores the cultural importance of the film in Switzerland,” Swiss Interior Minister Alain Berset told a news conference on Sunday.

In the mandatory referendum called “Lex Netflix”, international streaming services must invest 4% of their revenues in Switzerland in local film production.

Investments can take the form of buying locally made shows, making programs or going into an investment fund.

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Netflix said it was respecting the result and would work with the government to implement the regulation.

“We believe that good stories can come from anywhere, and we’ve already invested in content from Switzerland in the past,” said a Netflix spokesman.

Amazon declined to comment, and Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

A similar law has been passed in Portugal, where streaming service providers have to pay 1% of their revenue to the Film and Audiovisual Institute.

Denmark is considering a tax, and Spain is going to introduce one. France and Italy require streaming services to invest some of their revenue in European content in local languages.

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In a separate referendum, 72% of Swiss approved an increase in funding for the European border security agency, Frontex. A rejection could have forced Switzerland out of the 26-member Schengen passport-free travel zone and the Dublin system for coordinating asylum applications.

In the third ballot, 60% of voters voted in favor of the rule that people who do not want their organs removed for transplantation after death should opt for it.

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