Vegan deemed 'too annoying' to be given Swiss citizenship has the decision overturned on appeal

Nancy Holten's citizenship applications were denied twice for being "too annoying". Photo / Facebook, Nancy Holten
Nancy Holten's citizenship applications were denied twice for being "too annoying". Photo / Facebook, Nancy Holten

A Dutch vegan who was denied Swiss citizenship twice for being 'too annoying' has finally won her passport.

Nancy Holten, now 43, has lived in Switzerland since she was eight, speaks fluent Swiss-German and has children who are citizens.

But she was turned down by locals in her village of Gipf-Oberfrick who were irritated by her campaigns against suing cowbells because they are cruel to animals.

Ms Holten also campaigned over village church bells being too loud, and spoke out against piglet racing and hunting, often on national television.

After being denied citizenship by a local council back in January, Ms Holten appealed to state authorities who overruled the decision, The Local reports.

The canton of Aargau took the decision on Friday last week, saying she met "all the prerequisites for naturalization".

Ms Holten celebrated the announcement on Twitter, holding a copy of a local paper with her picture on the front page, writing: "I simply radiate."

She told The Local that she is "relieved" to be granted citizenship, though the decision still needs to be ratified in the coming weeks.

She revealed that she has been the victim of threats and bullying since finding fame, and has considered moving from her village.

She told The Local: "It is no longer very pleasant here, even though there are people in the village who have been supportive.

Nancy Holten celebrates the decision. Photo / Twitter, Nancy Holten
Nancy Holten celebrates the decision. Photo / Twitter, Nancy Holten

"I've stayed for the sake of the children. They live in this village, have their friends here, and go to school here and this is their home environment.

"Perhaps I will move to the next village. We'll see.'

Any villagers missing Ms Holten will be able to catch up with her on TV station Schweiz 5 after she was given her own show, set to air over the summer.

She also has a book coming out, and uses her YouTube channel to campaign on animal welfare issues.

Ms Holten, who describes herself online as a TV presenter, YouTuber, freelance journalist, actress, IT-woman and model, first applied for a passport back in 2015.

That resulted in the citizens of Gipf-Oberfrick holding a referendum, which saw her denied by a vote of 144-62.

Local politician Tanja Suter said Holten had a "big mouth", and did not deserve to get a Swiss passport "if she irritates us and does not respect our traditions."

The publicity the case generated earned Ms Holten frequent spots on TV which she used to plug her campaign against the cowbells - saying they were too loud for the animals to have near their ears and too heavy.

Local residents in Switzerland often have a say in citizenship applications, which are decided by councils where the applicants live rather than the federal government.

- Daily Mail

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