The Hague pays back integration fines

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The city council in The Hague has decided to cancel the fines it imposed on Turkish immigrants for failing to turn up for civic integration courses. The move follows a ruling by the Central Appeals Tribunal one month ago that the Turks are not obliged to follow an integration course.

The city has now decided that the Turkish immigrants who were fined will be reimbursed. This will apply retrospectively from 2007, when the current integration legislation went into effect.

The decision is unexpected since the position of the Interior Ministry is that past fines are legitimate and no restitution is required. It does, however, advise councils not to collect unpaid fines.

Amsterdam and Utrecht have agreed to follow this guideline. Rotterdam, on the other hand, stopped fining Turks a year ago following a ruling by the Rotterdam court which the tribunal later confirmed.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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