Fewer Arab asylum seekers in the Netherlands

29th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Fewer asylum seekers from the Arab world arrived in the Netherlands in the first four months of the year than in the same period a year ago.

The figures reported by the Dutch statistics officeCBS do not however reflect the total number of asylum seekers coming into EU countries. Apparently almost twice as many people from north Africa are seeking asylum in European countries. Most of them came from Tunesia, Syria and Libya. Half of asylum requests were made in Italy and Germany. The most dramatic increase is the number of Tunesians arriving in Italy.

In the first four months of the year, 150 people applied for asylum in the Netherlands, almost half of them from Libya. In the same period in 2010, 180 people from Arab countries applied for asylum.

In response, the democrats D66 have called on the government "to be honest about the facts". According to the party: "The Netherlands is not being overrun by 'non-western' migrants at all. Two thirds of immigrants come from EU countries, or are Dutch people returning to the Netherlands." 

"The image the government is portraying does not tally with reality. Look at the facts rather than putting out unfounded stories. Invest in educated and skilled migrants, who are important for the future of the Netherlands," D66 MP Gerard Schouw warned.

A total of 7.6 thousand people from the Arab regions applied for asylum in the European Union in the first four months of 2011. This figure was more than four thousand in 2010.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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