The Bistro Interculturel demands in a petition “We call on the municipality of Stans to: Act NOW!”
“We call on the municipality of Stans to communicate to the government council of the canton of Nidwalden its willingness to quickly and unbureaucratically accept refugees from Greek refugee camps. Therefore, we are now also addressing the Easter appeal to the Federal Council launched by various organisations to the municipality of Stans. The inhumane situation on the Greek islands is a consequence of European refugee policy. As a Dublin state, Switzerland (Confederation, cantons, municipalities) shares responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe on the Greek islands. We have the necessary capacities and financial means to make an important contribution to the evacuation. In view of the advancing Corona pandemic, time is pressing.
A silent disaster is unfolding before our eyes on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Several tens of thousands of refugees from war and conflict zones are stranded there without any protection. Medical care is not guaranteed and even the right to apply for asylum has been temporarily suspended. The situation is particularly dramatic in the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos, as the aid agencies report on site. The number of asylum applications in Switzerland is at an all-time low. Our state has the financial means, the spatial capacities and the human resources to take in more refugees and care for them here. In the past, it has been shown that Greece’s financial support has done little to improve the situation for refugees. On the contrary, as the New York Times reports, the Greek government is resorting to ever more drastic means. They even do not stop at the illegal and anti-human rights practice of abandoning refugees in the middle of the night on the open sea. The only option left is evacuation. We have all shown in recent months that rapid and unconventional action for the benefit of others is possible. Let us now allow this solidarity to overcome borders! It is clear to us that the federal government decides on the reception and distribution of refugees – not the canton, or even individual municipalities. However, for Bern to agree to take in refugees, it needs willingness and pressure from below. Because if no communes and cantons show willingness to quickly solve this humanitarian emergency, it will be much more difficult for the federal government to make a proposal for the unscheduled accommodation of refugees. And if individual municipalities signal their willingness to take in refugees – which is currently happening more and more throughout Switzerland – there are hardly any reasons not to do so! Because the municipalities are the place where living together actually happens.
That is why we, the residents of the municipality of Stans, demand of our municipal authorities:
-> to declare their willingness to take in refugees from the Greek islands
-> to communicate this decision publicly and to forward it to the government of the Canton of Nidwalden and to the Federal Council. Thank you for your support, Bistro Interculturel from Stans.”
The municipality of Stans rejects further admission of refugees and refers to the integration work done in the municipality. However, the petition is forwarded to the canton and the federal government.