Refugees crowd onto platforms in Hungary, Austria and Germany while the situation remains relatively calm in Switzerland. In August, Switzerland recorded 3,899 asylum seekers, 3 more than July. Of these only 401 were from Syria. Most were from Eritrea (1,610), followed by Afghanistan (461). So why is the Swiss situation so different to neighbouring Austria and Germany?
“It is partly because the Syrian community is so small in Switzerland as opposed to the Eritrean community for example. We always see higher refugee flows when the diaspora is already significant” explained Denise Graf of Amnesty International. “Also the asylum rules are not as generous here as they are in Germany or in Sweden” added the specialist. “In Sweden the acceptance rate for Syrian refugees is 100%. In Switzerland it is around 35%, with the others classified under provisional admission, which is not satisfactory”.
In March the Swiss Federal council set Syrian humanitarian quotas at 3,000 over three years. 1,000 are expected this year. “The United Nations Refugee Agency has presented 300 applications to the state secretary for migrants which they are currently examining. Every week they accept around 30 that are particularly vulnerable. It is positive but it takes time” explains Denise Graf. 1,000 places are reserved for immediate family of those Syrians admitted temporarily or as refugees, however there are few requests. “The rules are so strict that only the spouse and children who are minors can come” said Graf.
Full article on 24 Heures (in French)