Dubai: A new proposal to pay outsiders close to Dh100,000 to live in a small town in Switzerland is creating a social media frenzy.
The townsfolk of Albinen, a gorgeous village in Switzerland, is mulling over a policy that will entice people to move to the Alpine town in exchange for 25,000 Swiss francs per adult, just a little over Dh93,600.
Those who have a child will get an extra 10,000, so that’s more than Dh224,000 for an immigrant family of one child or close to Dh200,000 for a couple. The move is intended to beef up the local economy amid a dwindling population.
The proposal has yet to be passed into a law, with the village council scheduled to vote for it next week yet, but social media users have already reacted in excitement.
“How do I apply?” said Lindsey Asselin on Facebook. “”Please pick me, please,” said another.
The positive feedback doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, the valleys, lakes and snow-capped mountains of Switzerland have endeared many tourists the world over, including the UAE.
The Gulf is one of the major sources of tourist traffic to Switzerland, with visitors from the UAE posting the second-biggest jump (135 per cent) in the number of hotel stays in the Alps from 2006 to 2016, according to Swissinfo,
Albinen is a small community in the Alps that has only less than 300 inhabitants. It’s about 69 kilometres south of Bern, the country’s capital city and provides a good jumping-off point for interesting trips around Europe.
In recent years, there has been an exodus of residents from Albinen, and policymakers have been under pressure to look for ways to keep the population from shrinking any further. One of the proposals is to set up a programme that will provide a financial reward to outsiders who will decide to live there.
Under the plan, people who acquire or build a home in Albinen can claim a relocation fee of 25,000 francs per adult and 10,000 francs per child, according to the town’s newsletter that was translated by The Local.
The reward will be issued on at least two conditions, the immigrants will live in the Alpine town for at least ten years and any property purchased or built must be worth at least 200,000 francs.
A quick search online would show that 200,000 francs would be almost enough to buy a 3.5-room apartment in Albinen.
The Swiss town is just one of the few communities that have entertained the idea of enticing immigrants with financial rewards.
Only about six months ago, the mayor of the Italian town of Bormida created quite a stir when he suggested in social media that a €2,000 reward should be granted to those who move there. No law has yet to be passed to this effect.