Holland takes in slightly fewer refugees

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The number of refugees that arrived in the Netherlands in the first half of this year was slightly lower compared with the same period in 2010, Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers has told parliament.

The first half of 2011 saw 7,120 asylum seekers come to the country, against 7,290 in the same period the year before.

The total number of immigrants did not drop, the minister writes in response to questions put to him by MPs. Non-refugee immigrants include people who come here to study, work or join their families.

Measures Mr Leers has adopted to curb family reunions and stop new families being formed have not yet, he adds, come into force or have just done so.  

The cabinet says the measures should result in a “very significant reduction” in the number of immigrants. Geert Wilders’  Freedom Party, which supports the minority coalition in parliament, hopes the number of non-Western immigrants will be halved. cl

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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