Ministers 'kiss and make up' over Taida
17 February 2006, AMSTERDAM — Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk and Education Minister Maria van Der Hoeven put on a show of solidarity on Friday after clashing during the week over Verdonk's attempts to expel a schoolgirl from Kosovo.
17 February 2006
AMSTERDAM — Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk and Education Minister Maria van Der Hoeven put on a show of solidarity on Friday after clashing during the week over Verdonk's attempts to expel a schoolgirl from Kosovo.
"I have the fullest confidence in the excellent manner Verdonk has dealt with Taïda", Van der Hoeven said after the Cabinet meeting on Friday. Verdonk, in turn, acknowledged she has full confidence in her colleague.
Verdonk was fuming on Wednesday as she demanded to know why Van der Hoeven had given apparent backing to the campaign to keep Taïda Pasic in the Netherlands.
The issue arose when Van den Hoeven wrote about the controversial case on her weblog.
Van der Hoeven revealed that she had been inundated from all sides in recent weeks with emails about the VWO student in the Dutch town of Winterwijk. "I indicated to the letter writers that from my position as minister for education I am sympathetic to their wish for Taïda to be allowed to get her diploma in the Netherlands."
"But I have made clear at the same time that I have no say over the matter," Van der Hoeven wrote.
Verdonk said on Wednesday that Van der Hoeven had got the last part right. "That's my territory," Verdonk said.
She also emphasised she did not appreciate "rollebollendeministers" (roughly translated as somersaulting ministers) and she said she first wanted to know what Van der Hoeven said and meant.
Last week, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (CBP) announced it is to investigate whether how Verdonk has dealt with Pasic is permissible.
Verdonk's spokesperson publicly branded Pasic, 18, as a fraud for returning to the Netherlands after accepting EUR 7,000 to continue her schooling in Kosovo. Pasic's family lived as refugees in the Netherlands until they agreed to repatriation.
Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the CBP, said on Tuesday he had asked Verdonk for an explanation for revealing personal details about Pasic's case.
A spokesperson for Verdonk said on Sunday Pasic sneaked back into the country on a French tourist visa after she was refused a residence permit to complete her VWO in Winterswijk.
Immigration officials took Pasic out of school a few weeks ago and placed her in a deportation centre.
A court later ordered her release from the centre, pending a proper adjudication of her application for a temporary residence permit by Verdonk. Pasic wants to stay for a few months more to sit her final exams.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news