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«Call to the community of Teufen: Take in refugees from the Greek islands»

Level: Municipality
Municipality: Teufen (AR)
Status: Accepted


Submission of the petition to the Teufen (AR) municipal council on 17 September 2020

Positive response from the Municipal Council on 26 October 2020:

“The municipal council has declared its willingness […] to accept refugees from the Greek islands within the scope of the municipality’s legal possibilities, to communicate this decision publicly and to forward it to the Federal Council.

In the hope that with this decision we can make a small contribution to improving the tragic living situation of refugees, we thank you for taking note.”

The petition follows the call of the European Citizens’ Forum EBF:

The situation in the camps on the Greek islands is inhumane

On the night of 8/9 September 2020, a major fire destroyed the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. In one fell swoop, all 12,000 people were homeless and wandering the streets. After the already inhuman situation in the camp, it had now come to a humanitarian catastrophe. As a result, individual EU countries and Switzerland agreed to take in a total of 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 harbouring in a new, hastily built camp: without water supply and sewage system, without electricity and heating. The ground of the former firing range is contaminated with ammunition and cartridges as well as undetonated explosive devices are found again and again. The next catastrophe is pre-programmed.

A broad campaign to welcome refugees from the camps

50,000 people throughout Switzerland, the national churches and over 130 organisations have supported the Easter Appeal of the campaign of Amnesty International, “Evakuieren Jetzt” 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 thrown their weight behind the demands. What counts is not party affiliation, but human conscience. Switzerland’s eight largest cities Zurich, Bern, Basel-Stadt, Lucerne, Winterthur, St. Gallen, Lausanne and Geneva have joined this appeal. Cities such as Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Wil (SG) have joined, as have smaller municipalities. Here are excerpts from three smaller municipalities that have already joined the appeal. All of them call on the federal authorities to do more to stop the misery on the Aegean islands and declare their willingness to take in refugees from there. This is not just a moral statement, but a concrete offer that 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 cities and municipalities has unfortunately not been fulfilled so far. Therefore, as many smaller towns and villages as possible throughout Switzerland should also raise their voices. The more numerous they are, the more it will become clear that there is a will everywhere in our country to help the refugees. At the same time, the chances increase that the Federal Council will finally come to its senses and act humanely. It could already take action today. Contrary to Federal Councillor Keller-Suter’s statements, the legal basis for this already exists today. Therefore, we, the residents of the municipality XYZ, demand from our municipal authorities:

  • to agree to take in refugees from the Greek islands,
  • to communicate this decision publicly and to forward it to the Federal Council.

You can download the petition here and we ask you to become active with it in your circle of acquaintances. You can download a feedback card here or you can send us an email to the following address: ch@forumcivique.org. Thank you in advance for your commitment!