2,700 EU-citizens ordered to leave Belgium last year
The Belgian government expelled 2,712 EU citizens last year. The figure is 5 times up compared to 2010, De Morgen reports.
The expelled citizens were found posing a too heavy burden on the Belgian social security system.
De Morgen gives the example of Italy's Silvia Gurria: she plays the accordion and collects 70 percent of her total earnings with this.
For the other 30 percent, she relies on social benefits.
However, the Belgian authorities found that 30 percent is an unreasonable burden for the country.
Among the people that were expelled, are mostly Romanians (816), but also Bulgarians (393) and Spaniards (323).
The rise in expelled citizens can be attributed to the fact that the Belgian Immigration Service is keeping a closer eye on people.
The exchange of information with social security services has improved a lot.
People found abusing the system, are not really expelled on the spot.
In fact, their residence permit is suspended.
They still keep the passport of their home country, and are not "de facto" illegal.
But because their residence permit has been lifted, they can no longer fall back on social benefits or the social security system, health care services etc.
Flandersnews.be / Expatica