A super wealthy Swiss village has chosen to pay a fine of £200,000 rather than accept its country’s imposed quota of ten refugees.
Residents in Oberwil-Lieli – one of the wealthiest villages in Europe – voted ‘No’ in a referendum over whether to accept the refugees, reports the Daily Mail.
The Swiss government had proposed a quota system right across the country to fulfil its promise of taking in 50,000 asylum seekers across the country.
But Oberwil-Lieli – which has just over 300 millionaires in a population of 2,200 – rejected the refugees by a narrow margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
One resident 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.
We are not suited to take in refugees. They would not fit in here.
The vote has caused a lot of friction in the town leading to a number of people slamming residents as ‘racist’.
Another resident said:
It is only right that we do something to help others who are less fortunate.
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.
But the mayor, Andreas Glarner, denied they were being racist:
We were not to be told if the ten were from Syria or if they are 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. 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.
He added that the language barrier would also be an issue.
It may not be racist, but it does seem pretty mean…