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Canton of Solothurn rejects reception

13. May 2021

While the city of Solothurn has already repeatedly confirmed its willingness to take in additional refugees, the canton is reserved. It sees the responsibility with the federal government.

In May 2020, Christof Schauwecker (Greens) demanded that the government of the Canton of Solothurn lobby the Federal Council to take in a contingent of refugees from the camps on the Greek islands and to accommodate them in the canton.

At that time, the outbreak of the Corona pandemic had further worsened the already precarious situation of thousands of people. Due to the cramped conditions and poor hygiene in the camps, people were – and still are – at great risk from the virus. Nevertheless, Switzerland had only agreed to take in 21 unaccompanied minors.

As early as May 2020, the cantonal council did not find it urgent to deal with this looming catastrophe. The cantonal council had later recommended the order for rejection. The Cantonal Council now rejected it a year later “by a large majority”, as the resolution puts it. As is so often the case, the responsibility of the federal government is referred to.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Greek camps has not improved at all. Last September, the Moria camp on Lesbos burnt down. In the quickly built new camp directly on the coast, people spent the winter in unheated tents and continued to lack everything they needed to live. The proven lead exposure endangers the health of the people housed there, especially the children. The situation is similar on the other islands. In the Vial camp on Chios, the body of a man who had died in these precarious conditions was found last week, eaten by mice.

There remains an urgent need to evacuate all camps.

Full details of the operation.

Photo: Alea Horst