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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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HomeCulture WarsResidents out, migrants in

Residents out, migrants in

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AN article in our local freesheet 20 Minuten had me exclaiming, ‘Surely not here in Switzerland!’ But right enough, it was confirmed in Breitbart: ‘Swiss man evicted from home to make way for asylum seekers.’ 

A 47-year-old tenant who had lived in his apartment for more than 15 years was told by his Zürich municipality to leave by the end of May after they received an order from the canton to provide more accommodation for asylum seekers. The municipality explained: ‘This decision was very difficult to make. Unfortunately this was the last possibility to reach the quota of reception of refugees prescribed by the canton.’ The man’s home, upstairs from a kindergarten, would be used for five asylum seekers.

Tenants’ rights are protected in Switzerland through regulations prescribed by the Swiss Association of Landlords, and are generally considered fair, protecting tenants against eviction on wrongful terms. Yet the same thing happened in Windisch in Aargau, where 49 tenants were ordered to leave their city-owned homes to make room for refugees. 

An elected official in Windisch, Rolf Schmid, said this precedent was ‘extremely dangerous, giving the impression that there is a prioritisation between population groups. The socialist deputy Luzia Capanni said this ‘can also lead to racism’.     

Similar evictions are already par for the course in Germany. Last year, hundreds of refugees from Afghanistan were evicted to house large numbers of Ukrainians fleeing the war. Some had lived there for years but were given only 24 hours’ notice. Berlin’s Senate Department for Integration, Labour and Social Services said the decisions were ‘based on operationally necessary but difficult considerations’.

This month elderly residents of a nursing home in Berlin owned and operated by Christian non-profit institutions were left in tears after being evicted to make room for new migrants. News outlet Focus has suggested: ‘In church circles, it is an open secret that running a refugee home is financially more attractive than running a nursing home.’

UK authorities are faced with similar challenges. Around 40,000 migrants are being housed in hotels in England at an estimated cost of more than £2billion per year. In these cases, it was wedding receptions and family functions that were summarily cancelled. It is easy to see that for any hotel operator the prospect of 100 per cent occupancy at favourable rates would be commercially irresistible.

At the same time the number of homeless people sleeping on the streets in England rose by over a quarter last year over 2021. According to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, on a single night last autumn, there were 3,069 rough sleepers compared with 2,443 in 2021.

In some areas, the care of refugees has reached even higher levels of generosity. Shropshire Council has just approved a £7.2million package to purchase up to 30 properties for displaced Ukrainian families. The council’s website  states that all Ukrainians arriving in England will be able to access housing and free health care.

Yet advice to those threatened with homelessness states the council ‘may be able to help you to remain in your home or move to another home’. But the council will look at how long they’ve lived in the area, whether they’re employed there, if they have close family ties in the area, and the inevitable ‘other special circumstances’. And it’s too bad if you happen to be a homeless former member of the Armed Services. If you are, the council explains helpfully that ‘there are a number of organisations that can offer help and support, including on housing issues. Phone this number etc etc’.       

So is this what it comes down to in Britain now? Do protected characteristics and pseudo-political virtue-signalling take precedence over the urgent welfare concerns of the indigenous UK population? All of it bankrolled by the long-suffering taxpayer, and lavishly handed out at the whim of self-seeking politicians? Oh, the irony of it, that those Ukrainians who flee from the battle at home should arrive here and we give them everything they need, while our own soldiers, who have done their duty and served their country, are hived off to charity.

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Janice Davis
Janice Davis
Janice Davis is a grandmother and former girls’ grammar school teacher

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