Oberwil-Lieli, a commune in the canton of Aargau, that decided in June 2016 to pay CHF 290,000 to avoid taking refugees, has now decided to offer accommodation to a christian family of five from Syria, that has been given provisional entry. The accommodation will be offered from 1 January 2017.
The town’s council has asked residents to come forward with empty places but has not yet received any response, said the commune’s secretary. The commune with 2,2131 residents has identified an apartment, however it is not free until July next year.
After the arrival of this family, the commune will have filled half of the refugee quota set for it by the canton.
Speaking to the Independent newspaper in May, Andreas Glarner (SVP/UDC), Oberwil-Lieli’s mayor said, “We were not to be told if the 10 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. 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.”
In July, Andreas Glarner visited two refugee camps in Greece.
In addition to taking in a Syrian family, the commune now plans to donate CHF 50,000 to a private organisation that helps refugees in Turkey and Greece.