Belgian immigrants seek to hide origins
25 August 2004
BRUSSELS – An increasing number of immigrants are changing their first name or surname in Belgium, it was reported on Wednesday.
Flemish dailies Het Laatste Nieuws and De Nieuwe Gazet learnt from the authorities that name change applications had soared by 20 percent.
And a large percentage of these requests come from ‘new Belgians’ who have moved to the country from overseas.
The trend has Belgian Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx worried
She see the efforts by immigrants to hide their origins as evidence that integration is failing in this country.
Onkelinx is understood to be looking at whether the name-change procedure – which takes 18 months – needs tightening up.
Every year, 1,000 name changes are sought and 40 percent are turned down.
About a quarter of the requests are ‘new Belgians’ giving ‘integration’ as the reason they want a new name.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news