Former PM: Dutch refugee climate grim

15th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers has voiced concern at the country’s “grim climate” towards foreigners and refugees in particular.

“The political debate focuses far too much on tightening, controlling, curbing and cutbacks,” the Christian Democrat politician said in his capacity as chair of the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF during a graduation ceremony in Amsterdam.

Foreigners are often linked with crime, threats and terrorism as well as costs and problems. “Such bias fails to do justice to the efforts and contributions you and many other refugees have made,” Mr Lubbers told 200 graduating refugees.

As UAF chair, Mr Lubbers called for Holland’s asylum procedures to be brought in line with current circumstances. Asylum seekers whose application has not been processed within three years, as happens quite often, but are functioning in society, Mr Lubbers argued, should be given a residence permit. The advice of the municipalities where the asylum seekers reside, he added, should weigh heavily in the final decision.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

0 Comments To This Article