The Council of Ministers has begun to designate municipalities that are obligated to receive asylum seekers. In this way, the municipality of Gorinchem is obliged, among others, to receive people at a former tax office.
Secretary of State Ankee Brookers-Knoll (Asylum Affairs) said in a letter to the House of Representatives Friday evening that the refugee reception crisis is far from over. She wrote that she must take “additional measures” because she still needs at least 2,000 reception spots in December. “The method used so far is no longer sufficient. This means that measures must be taken to ensure additional reception places, as stated in the letter. Otherwise, there is a risk that the refugees will have to sleep on the street.
Gorinchem is mandatory
Today it appears that the Secretary of State means that she will appoint the municipalities that will be obligated to arrange the reception, which is called the appointment. Gornsheim municipality has already received a Warning that commitment is imminent. Mayor Millicent is surprised, her municipality has already been busy arranging a shelter for 150 people: in the hotel boat. However, the foreign minister now wants Gorinsheim to use former property of the tax authorities to receive asylum seekers. This fall, 300 asylum seekers have already been accommodated there, but the reception center is already closed. “We are already doing a lot. Then they gave the dozens and hundreds of municipalities that are doing nothing a clue,” says the mayor. against NOS.
Unfortunately, we were unable to prevent the Council of Ministers from making a decision to designate reception sites in the municipalities
The Secretary of State shall designate at least four other municipalities for compulsory reception. The Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) states that “unfortunately, it has not been able to prevent the Council of Ministers from taking the decision to designate reception centers in the municipalities”. “It is a necessary short-term solution so that we can provide shelter to the refugees.”
But VNG also states that “ structural solution must be accelerated. “This solution has been on the shelf for several years now: the establishment of four large-scale reception sites and two smaller reception sites for promising refugees. We assume that the new government will actively work on this matter.”
The crisis of receiving asylum seekers has been going on for several months. Since the summer, the number of applicants for asylum in the Netherlands has been increasing. It amounts to about a thousand asylum seekers each week. This is partly due to the easing of travel restrictions that were imposed around the world due to the Corona pandemic. Also, space had to be made for the hundreds of Afghans who evacuated the Netherlands from Kabul after the Taliban seized power there.
In addition, thousands of refugees are held in centers for Dutch asylum seekers who already have a residence permit. They can’t move into an ordinary home because of another crisis: the housing market crisis. There is simply hardly any living space available to them.
This has already led to emergency shelters on hotel boats and convention centers, where asylum seekers sleep in bunk beds in quickly built cabins without a roof. Sometimes so many people got to the Ter Apel application center in one day that they had to spend the night in chairs or on the floor.
Asylum crisis 2015
The last time the government had to designate municipalities obligated to provide shelter was during the major refugee crisis in 2015. When hundreds of thousands of Syrians came to Europe via Turkey. At that time, in many Dutch municipalities, They protested strongly against the arrival of centers for asylum seekers.
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