Flemish Interest division over asylum
23 February 2006, BRUSSELS — Flemish Interest MP Guido Tastenhoye wants a Kazakhstan asylum seeker family to be granted official residency, a demand that is at odds with the extreme-right party's immigration policies.
23 February 2006
BRUSSELS — Flemish Interest MP Guido Tastenhoye wants a Kazakhstan asylum seeker family to be granted official residency, a demand that is at odds with the extreme-right party's immigration policies.
Tastenhoye has started lobbying on behalf of the family with the Schoten mayor, who can initiate proceedings granting the family the right to stay.
But the MP denied his lobbying contradicted the Flemish Interest's opposition to the Belgium's asylum policy and a proposed amnesty for long-term asylum seekers.
"In this very exceptional case, I don't think I have made a mistake. I have only let humanity talk. I had no electoral or other intentions," Tastenhoye said.
Flemish Interest leader Filip Dewinter regretted the actions of Tastenhoye, but will not undertake any disciplinary action.
"That act of humanity now creates the impression that we acknowledge defeat for the granting of residency to people whose [asylum] procedure has taken five to six years," Dewinter said.
Tastenhoye's lobbying places the Flemish Interest in a difficult situation, particularly because Dewinter strongly criticised last week the organisers of an Antwerp protest that demanded a more humane asylum policy.
Dewinter said the organisers were hypocrites because under the guise of charity, they want to reward illegal immigrants with residency.
"We urge for a firm repatriation policy," he said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news