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Swiss village chooses to pay £200,000 fine instead of accepting 10 refugees

The Telegraph James Rothwell 30 MAY 2016 • 10:38AM One of Europe's wealthiest villages has decided to pay a £200,000 fine instead of accepting around 10 refugeesunder its country's newly imposed quota. Residents in the picturesque Swiss village

One of Europe’s wealthiest villages has decided to pay a £200,000 fine instead of accepting around 10 refugeesunder its country’s newly imposed quota.

Residents in the picturesque Swiss village of Oberwil-Lieli said they voted ‘no’ in a referendum on whether to accept the refugees because “they wouldn’t fit in.”

It comes after the Swiss government announced a quota system to meet its promise of allowing 50,000 asylum seekers into the country.

By rejecting the government’s plans, the village – which counts 300 millionaires among its population of 22,000 – has sent shockwaves across the country, with some accusing the residents of racism.

The villagers must now fork out 290,000 Swiss francs (£200,000) as a forfeit for refusing to welcome the asylum seekers.

One of them, who asked not to be named, told the MailOnline: “We do not want them here, it is as simple as that.

“We have worked hard all our lives and have a lovely village that we do not want spoiled.”

They added: “We are not suited to take in refugees, they would not fit in here.”

But another resident, a mother-of-two who asked not to be identified, said it was regrettable that the row has led to claims the village is  selfish and racist.

“It is only right that we do something to help others who are less fortunate,” she said.

“It makes the village look like we all do not care what happens to others and only look after ourselves. That is not how it is.”

Andreas Glarner, the town’s right-wing mayor, denies the vote was motivated by racism and said the town rejected the quota because it was not told whether the refugees were Syrians or “economic migrants from other countries.”

“Yes, the refugees from Syria have to be helped and they are better served by being helped in the camps nearer their home,” he said.

“Money could be sent to help them, but if we are housing them here it sends out the wrong message.

“Others will come and risk their lives crossing the ocean and paying people smugglers to bring them.”

1 million

Refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe via illegal routes

38 percent

Proportion of migrants who are from Syria


Syrian refugees being housed in Lebanon – a country 100 times smaller than Europe

One in five

Proportion of people in Lebanon who are refugees

1 in 122

According to the head of the UN refugee agency, one in 122 people is a refugee

1.2 percent

Proportion of migrants who land in Italy and Greece, then get as far as Calais


Illegal migrants were stopped from entering Britain by UK Border Force officials in 2015

15 per cent

Proportion of female refugees from Syria who are pregnant in Turkey

Review overview
  • DEATH IN VAIN May 30, 2016

    እዋእ እዞም ጽዓዱ እኮ ሕልና የብሎምን፣ ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ብምቕባል ንህዝብን መንግስትን ኤርትራ ይሕግዙ ከም ዘለዉ ዘንጊዖሞ ድዮም ? እቶም ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ፍቓድ ስራሕ ምስ ረኸቡ ቤተሰቦም ይሕግዙ፣ ናይ ጣዕሳ ወረቐት ብምምላእ እውን ንመንግስቲ ኤርትራ ብዙሕ ቀረጽ ጣዕሳ ብምኽፋል የሕውይዎ፣ ዓዲ ምስ ዝበጽሑ ድማ ንመንግስቲ ኤርትራ ናይ ዶላር ሃብቱ የኻዕብትዎ።
    ስዊስ በጃኹም ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ተቐበሉ በቦኹም።

    ንኤርትራውያን መንእሰያት ማንም ክፈርደሎም የብሉን ምኽንያቱ ኣርኣያ ኮይኑ ዝሕብሕቦምን ዘንቅሖምን ተቓዋሚ ውድብ ክሳዕ ዘይሃለወ ኣስመራኦም ከይዶም ክጭፍሩ እዮም ዝደልዩ ፣ኣነ እውን ብዓብየይ ትምኒተይ ምስ ንኣሽቱ ምሕጓስ እዩ።እቶም ተቓወምቲ እውን ኣረገውቲ ተጋደልቲ ነበር ኣይፍረዶምን ፣እንታይ ክብሉ እዮም ፣ካብቲ ዝግብኣኩም ኢትዮጵያዊ ሃብትን ክብረትን ኣውጺእና ነዕራብ ከም ትጉምብሑ ጌርናኩም ድዮም ክብልዎም ?

    እምባሕ ጥራይ ንበል ደቂ ኤረይ ! ምሕሳብን ምግምጋምን ናይ ተጋሩን ኣምሓሩን እዩ ኣይንደልዮን !!!

  • Dembe May 30, 2016

    I think the Arab and Muslim nations have a larger land and many resources to accommodate the Arab Syrian refugees.
    What is Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco … doing with their money. There are many jobs that need to be filled in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai … and many Muslim nations. Arab Muslim nations need to show brotherhood in practice instead of being greedy selfish and cowards preaching lies.
    Such is the nature of hypocrites who will send bombs and bullets but not food or open their doors to poor other Arabs.
    Is Eritrea Arabic nation? I hope not.

    • Amanuel May 30, 2016

      Good question. Only iseyas and other with id crises around him can decide or answer wether we are arabs. All tegadlos may also try to answer that but little do they know that they do not count.

    • Berhe Tensea May 31, 2016

      The Arabs have no obligation to help anyone, we have to solve our problem. Our problem is Iseyas and his yes men, by getting rid of them means problem solved.
      Looking at other countries for help is not the answer.
      As long as we tolerate a torturer who build underground, and container prisons, the pain and suffering will not go away.
      Iseyas not only hates but also despises us too.

    • Berhe Tensea June 1, 2016

      Countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait have the resources and the means to help their fellow Arabs, but unfortunately they are not in the business of helping.
      The burden of helping is left to the West only. Millions of Muslims are in need of direct help and resettlement from war torn countries in Africa and the Middle East, assistance from Arabs is a dream.
      Refugee resettlement issue is unheard of as far as Arab countries are concerned.
      Bye Dembe Murakhut

  • ahmed May 30, 2016

    I don’t blame them they would have more than 200k Euro, if they allowed the 10.

  • k.tewolde May 31, 2016

    Xenophobia, it is inherent in all of us, but to take it that far, I guess they want to keep their neighborhood pristine and homogeneous.

    • Amanuel May 31, 2016

      They should not even pay a cent. It is their land, their country. They are being invaded by people who hates them and wants to destroy them, their culture and religion.

  • Berhe Tensea May 31, 2016

    The Eritrean and African refugees of course will not fit in in the new and different socially and culturally European villages.
    How can an European or a Chinese fit in Adi Ghebray or emberemi?
    I feel sorry for the European villages and town that are affected by this.
    The Eritrean refugees must return to Sudan or Ethiopia where they can fit in or stay inside the hell and try to change it to heaven.
    Eritrean refugees who are in love with their abuser need and deserve more abuse especially those in Israel.

    • nimrod abraham June 1, 2016

      Berhe Tensea ata gahaf zxehafkayo xhuf dkmetkan mennetkan zgelx xyuf zeybahlawn eyu nska gin esub endika bzaeba adigebray alelka mzrab yehtteka eyu eritrawyan eko hade hzbi hade lebi nab hade mesmer ena ezi gedem hayleslasse zetkemelu znebere mela afelalika mgzae b adi haymanot kemzi llomi weyane ztkemlu zelewu xqani agezaza ab mengsti eri yelen ezi hsurn dqalan wellodekan kem daynesor ketxenit eka.

  • Dala Ksha June 1, 2016

    It is their country their village they have the right to say no,they don’t even need to pay that money.after all why those rich arab countries don’t help their brothers,by making them settled in their country.

  • Berhe Tensea June 2, 2016

    Who is on the brink of extinction? It is the Eritrean people. Zombies like you with the brain of monkey will not understand the pain and suffering of the people.
    Who is dying on the desert, on the border, on the sea, on the hundreds of prisons?
    How many are fleeing the country daily?
    You as an ignorant individual even have no shame to use a statement that was said by others.
    Monkey go to school and improve yourself rather than wasting your time being a stooge, and on ghaylan dankeran.
    The TEmbenay is bleesed to have monkey like puppets who are devoid and incapable of logical reasoning.