Tribune de Genève.
In the event of a large increase in migrants flowing to Switzerland, around 2,000 soldiers must be ready to help border control staff, said Switzerland’s federal council, or cabinet, on Wednesday. The federal council has asked the Swiss department of defense to prepare for such an event.
Last Thursday, Bern, the cantons, towns and communes adopted an emergency plan for asylum seekers. The plan foresees three scenarios, the army getting involved in the third, which imagines 30,000 refugees arriving in a few days.
The first scenario would involve 10,000 asylum demands over 30 days, and the second 10,000 requests over three months. Under these scenarios, border staff could request help from the army, if for example, there was a significant terrorist risk.
If the soldiers are involved for longer than three weeks, their continued engagement must be approved by parliament.
The Swiss department of defense must also be ready with a further 700 soldiers if there is a serious emergency.
The federal council does not envisage any need for the troops right now, but wants to be able to react quickly if required, recalling the Kosovo crisis in June 1999 when 9,600 asylum requests were made in one month.
No more space
The Swiss migration office will increase its accommodation capacity from around 4,600 to 6,000 places, or even 9,000 in the event of the third scenario. Military and municipal buildings will be used.
The use of municipal shelters can be imposed on towns and communes under new rules recently approved by the federal government.