Belgium fines Dutch for not voting
16 May 2007
HOOGSTRATEN – Belgium is fining Dutch nationals who live in Belgium and failed to vote in the municipal elections last October. The fine starts at EUR 500 a person.
Voting is compulsory for all Belgian residents who are registered to vote, even those who are foreign nationals.
René van Ham did not realise this. He lives in the border town of Hoogstraten, Belgian territory where 10 percent of the population is Dutch. “My wife and I weren’t able to vote that day. So I thought, we’ll just skip it this time,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen.
A neighbourhood policeman came to his door recently with a summons however. “Who knows, this might end up on my record. It is crazy though, isn’t it?”
The courts in the border area confirmed that quite a few Dutch nationals failed to show up at the municipal elections.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news, Belgian news