• Residents in the Swiss village of Oberwil-Lieli aren't keen to welcome new arrivals. (Google Maps)Source: Google Maps
Residents of Oberwil-Lieli say asylum seekers wouldn't fit in.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

30 May 2016 - 5:14 PM  UPDATED 30 May 2016 - 5:14 PM

A wealthy village in Switzerland has opted to pay a fine of 290,000 Swiss Francs (AUD $407,000) rather than accept just 10 refugees.

Residents in the village of Oberwil-Lieli have refused to take in its government-imposed quota of asylum seekers, voting "no" in a referendum on the issue.

The Swiss government had proposed a quota system across its 26 cantons to meet its promise of taking in 50,000 asylum seekers.

But this month Oberwil-Lieli, which lies just 16 kilometres from Zurich and boasts 300 millionaires among its population of 2200, voted 52 per cent to 48 per cent to reject the refugees.

The plan has divided residents, but mayor Andreas Glarner believes other Swiss towns should follow suit.

"Switzerland must close all of its green borders with barbed wire,” Glarner told the German-language daily newspaper Tages Anzeiger, reports Swiss English-language news website The Local.

“There is going to an invasion of asylum seekers…The only way into Europe is via Italy. Italy is not a desired destination. The asylum seekers are coming to Switzerland."

Glarner has produced a car sticker that says "I love Oberwil-Lieli" as an anti-refugee symbol.

"It might say 'I love Oberwil', but to those who have asked for the sticker it means 'we don't want refugees'," he told the Mail Online.

One resident told the MailOnline: "We do not want them here, it is as simple as that. We have worked hard all our lives and have a lovely village that we do not want spoiled. We are not suited to take in refugees. They would not fit in here."

In protest against Glarner's remarks about closing off the alpine country with barbed wire, a socialist youth party, The Young Socialists Switzerland (JUSO), has started a crowdfunding campaign to grow a 12-kilometre rosebush hedge encircling Oberwil-Lieli.

"The rosebush will also be a gift to the 48 per cent who voted for the asylum policy. The roses can be picked up at the port by the residents and taken to their own gardens. As a symbol of resistance," JUSO said.