Amsterdam mayor intervenes in refugee tent dispute

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Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan has identified 10 local authorities which are prepared to provide accommodation to failed asylum seekers, putting him on a collision course with the government, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Junior justice minister Fred Teeven has offered the would-be refugees a place to live for 30 days if they agree to work towards their eventual deportation.

Dozens are living in make-shift camps in Amsterdam and The Hague among other places because they are no longer entitled to care from the Dutch state, having failed to win refugee status.

Basic care

Van der Laan has refused to say which councils have agreed to house the failed asylum seekers. ‘The mayors have given their agreement but the executive boards still have to agree,’ a spokesman told the paper. In total, places have been found for a maximum 88 people in homeless shelters for a 30-day period.

The aim is to allow people to take stock and recover, and consult lawyers and refugee organisations about next steps, Van der Laan said in a letter to their legal representatives. ‘It is a basic bed, bath and bread construction.’

The refugees argue they cannot return to their homelands because either they have no documents, it is not safe or they face detention and torture. Most of the camp protestors come from Somalia and other places in Africa, as well as Iraq and Iran.


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