Sumte (population 102) will house 750 refugees, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan, under directives from regional lawmakers. The first wave of refugees, about 500 people, arrived in Sumte Nov. 2 despite the lack of infrastructure to house and feed the Muslim migrants.
While most of the refugees were grateful to escape war and poverty in their homelands, many expressed disappointment at being temporarily relocated to a small village in the middle of nowhere.
“It is so far from everything, in the middle of the countryside,” a 33-year-old male Syrian refugee named Hisham told the Daily Mail. “There is no shop, no bus, nothing.”
The catering manager at the refugee center said the refugees have also complained about German food. “The refugees don’t like the German food,” he said. “They like it if we make meals like spaghetti but they don’t like typical German food, like Spaetzle [egg noodles].”
Local residents, most of them elderly pensioners, are outraged that authorities are forcing their small town to feed and house the refugees for at least one year, but have done little to help local villagers.
“There is a bus only once a week for us old people, but buses take the refugees to the supermarket every day,” said a widow named Heidi.
“I’m 81 years old and I have to cycle to the cemetery 5 kilometers away. My son, my husband and my mother are buried there, and I can only get there by bike.”
Actually, a shuttle bus for the refugees will run every hour to Neuhaus [a nearby village with shops] starting Nov. 6, said Jens Meyer of the welfare group Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund.
“There are no jobs here, so these people are going to live on benefits: €500 (U.S. $544) a month or more if they are a family. They will be given houses, but German people are not entitled to houses anymore.”
Regional authorities had initially earmarked Sumte to receive 1,000 Syrian refugees, but reduced the number to 750 after realizing the village’s sewage system could not handle a tenfold increase in population overnight.
When all the migrants are moved into Sumte this week, refugees will outnumber native residents by 7 to 1, and the village’s total population will balloon 700 percent overnight, as Digital Journal previously reported.
“In the summer girls will not want to go swimming in the lake like we normally do because there will be young men around all the time,” said one resident.
Sumte isn’t the only town being deluged with refugees. Sweden, which has a population of 9.6 million, is expected to take in 191,000 refugees this year, mostly from Syria.
A group of refugees recently complained about being relocated to the ski village of Limedsforsen, located 250 miles northwest of Stockholm, saying they want to live in the city. Housing is extremely tight because Sweden is receiving about 10,000 refugees a week.
“We don’t understand why they’ve taken us to the forest where it’s so dark and so cold,” Abdullah Waez told AFP. “We don’t want to live like this — in the middle of nowhere.”
The refugees’ negative attitude had some online readers furious that they’re demanding free housing in expensive Stockholm, which is difficult for even native Swedes to get, as Digital Journal previously reported.
“Then go back to your jihad- and bomb-infested Muslim desert!” one online commenter wrote. “What do they expect? A free royal suite in the center of Paris? The only thing they should hope for is to be allowed to stay in a piece of land that has no bullets and bombs flying around.”
As the alarming refugee crisis in Europe reaches epic proportions, it’s estimated that up to one million refugees will pour into Germany. Most are Muslims fleeing war and poverty in Syria, Afghanistan, North Africa and Iran.
While Northern European countries like Germany and Sweden bear the brunt of the refugee crisis, the wealthy Arab states of the Persian Gulf (Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) have done next to nothing to help their Muslim brethren.
The Gulf States combined have taken in zero Syrian refugees, citing concerns over terrorism, finances and social unrest.