Verdonk dismisses Maxima citizenship furore

24th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — The naturalisation of Princess Maxima last year took place according to regulations, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has insisted.

24 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — The naturalisation of Princess Maxima last year took place according to regulations, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has insisted.

The opposition green-left GroenLinks demanded a response in Parliament after television show Twee Vandaag and magazine Nieuw Revue claimed last week Maxima's accelerated naturalisation was close to being illegal.

It took eight days for Maxima to be naturalised, gaining Dutch citizenship on her 30th birthday on 17 May 2001. She then married Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in February 2002 in Amsterdam.

Several lawyers and immigration specialists told both the TV show and magazine the government of the time made various procedural errors. Subsequently Maxima should never have been granted citizenship, they said.

However, Minister Verdonk rejected Twee Vandaag's claims on Tuesday that no documents could be found indicating the entire procedure was fully carried out.

Speaking partly on behalf of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the Liberal VVD minister said she has a dossier which includes Maxima's application for citizenship.

It was also suggested last week Maxima should have submitted her application for citizenship with the mayor of her city of residence and not with the Queen's Cabinet.

But that was not legally required at the time, Verdonk said, pointing out that legislation has since been changed so that citizenship applications must be lodged with local mayors.

In response to the controversy, the Government Information Service (RVD) said Princess Maxima is "very unhappy" with the negative media reports.

"It particularly pains her that the impression has arisen something went wrong and that it is her fault. All Dutch people must observe legal procedures, also the members of the royal house," the RVD said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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