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Build villages for asylum seekers: Swiss party

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11:09 CET+01:00

The Christian Democratic Party has tabled a motion to introduce specially built villages for asylum-seekers.

The idea is to build three “villages” in Canton Aargau in eastern Switzerland in order to house some 500 asylum-seekers.

“In addition to beds, a cafeteria, a sports complex and training opportunities should be available in the villages," Christian Democratic Party councillor, Alexandra Abbt, told online news website 20 Minutes.

The proposals include the introduction of a bonus system, where bonus points would be awarded to migrants who behave well and cooperate with the authorities.

“This reduces the motivation of asylum seekers to move outside the village and the potential for conflict with the population,” Abbot said.

But the far-right Swiss People’s Party thinks that such a system would create the wrong incentives for would-be asylum seekers, as it could make asylum in Switzerland even more attractive.

Others consider the plans for the villages to be similar to a kind of apartheid.

“It is an absurd idea to lock asylum-seekers away into ghettos and entirely deny them ways to integrate,” Beat Meiner, secretary general of the Swiss Refugee Council, told 20 Minutes.

No sites for the proposed villages have yet been identified and it is unclear whether the plans would utilise existing building structures.

The Aargau Cantonal government has three months to consider the proposals, although preliminary indications suggest it is interested in the idea, 20 Minutes reported. 

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