Dutch embassy in Berlin stoned by squatters

2nd November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Suspected sympathisers of squatters pelted stones and paint bombs at the Dutch embassy on Friday.

Berlin – The Dutch embassy in Berlin was pelted with paint bombs and stones Friday night by suspected sympathisers of squatters.

Two windows at the embassy were smashed, reported Derk Oldenburg, the deputy ambassador of the Netherlands.

Two guards saw perpetrators throw stones and paint bombs at the windows but failed to arrest them.

Across Europe, protests also took place at Dutch embassies and consulates in Barcelona, Prague and Vienna.

Squatting has been banned in the Netherlands since 15 October. The bill, an initiative of the ruling Christian Democrats, the liberal VVD and the Christian Union, ends the current existing law that allows squatters to occupy a building if it has been unoccupied in a year. Squatters who now attempt to occupy empty buildings risk a year in jail.

This has given rise to a unique anti-squatting industry, with firms renting out buildings, often to students, at much reduced monthly rates to stave off unwanted tenants.

Many property owners have opted for this option as slumping property sales leave them at risk.

Last week, more than 1,000 squatters and sympathisers joined a national protest in Utrecht against new legislation to outlaw squatting. Squatters claimed thousands of people would be made homeless with the new law. The demonstration was largely peaceful, though at one point protestors clashed with police, who used batons to disperse the crowd.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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