Positive response from the municipality of Penthalaz on 12 November 2020:
“The Municipality of Penthalaz has received a petition from citizens* of our municipality asking them to commit themselves in the future to accepting people from the camps on the Greek islands.
Sensitive to the plight of these people and to the inhumane conditions in which they expect a dignified reception from European countries, the Municipality asks your authorities to use all necessary means to receive refugees in a number proportionate to Switzerland’s financial and economic capacity and thus, if not to end the plight in the camps in Greece, at least to reduce the plight in the camps in Greece.
Subject to its possibilities – particularly in terms of providing accommodation – and with the support of committed organisations – such as the Etablissement Vaudois d’Accueil des Migrants (EVAM) – and volunteers, the municipality declares itself open to welcoming families into its circle. We are therefore willing to be contacted for the implementation of the measures involved”.
The petition follows the call of the European Citizens Forum EBF:
The situation in the camps on the Greek islands is degrading
During the night of 8/9 September 2020 a major fire destroyed the refugee camp of Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos. At one stroke, all 12,000 people were homeless and wandered the streets. After the already inhumane situation in the camp, the humanitarian disaster had now become a reality. Subsequently, a few EU countries and Switzerland agreed to take in a few hundred people. This minimal number is a disgrace! Many are still homeless and 8,000 people who had to flee the fire in Moria are now waiting in a new, hastily built camp: without water supply and sanitation, without electricity or heating. The floor of the former firing range is contaminated with ammunition and again and again cartridges and non-detonated explosives are found. The next catastrophe is pre-programmed.
A broad campaign to take in refugees from the camps
50,000 people throughout Switzerland, the national churches and over 130 organisations have supported the Os-ter appeal of Amnesty International’s Evacuation NOW campaign and the Migration Charter, which calls for a rapid evacuation of the Greek camps and a generous reception of refugees. Numerous politicians – across all party lines – have also lent their support to these demands. What counts is not party affiliation, but the human conscience. The eight largest cities in Switzerland – Zurich, Berne, Basel City, Lucerne, Winterthur, St. Gallen, Lausanne and Geneva – have all joined in this appeal. Cities like Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Wil (SG) have joined, as have smaller municipalities. Here you will find extracts of three smaller municipalities that have already joined the appeal. All of them call on the federal authorities to do more to stop the distress on the Aegean islands and declare their willingness to take refugees from there. This is not just a moral statement, but a concrete offer which the Federal Council should accept.
The municipalities are the foundation of our democracy!
The hope that the Federal Council would take note of the open attitude of these towns and municipalities has unfortunately not been fulfilled so far. For this reason, as many smaller towns and villages throughout Switzerland as possible should also make their voices heard. The more numerous these are, the more it becomes clear that there is a willingness everywhere in our country to help the refugees. At the same time, the chances are increasing that the Federal Council will finally come to its senses and act in a humane manner. The Federal Council could take action today. Contrary to what Federal Councillor Keller-Suter said, the legal foundations for this already exist today. This is why we, residents of the municipality XYZ, demand that our municipal authorities take action:
You can download the petition here and we ask you to become active in your circle of friends. Here you can download a feedback card or you can send us an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your commitment!