One of Europe’s wealthiest villages has decided to pay a €260,000 fine instead of accepting around 10 refugees under 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 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 (€260,000) as a forfeit for refusing to welcome the asylum seekers. One of them, who asked not to be named, said: “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.”