Vogelaar to calculate losses due to new integration law

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Minister for Integration Ella Vogelaar is going to calculate how many millions of euro have been lost because of the debacle with the new integration legislation.

25 January 2008

THE HAGUE – Minister for Integration Ella Vogelaar is going to calculate how many millions of euro have been lost because of the debacle with the new integration legislation. The minister said this on current events programme NOVA on Thursday.

Estimates on how much money has been lost vary significantly. Different educational centres say the damages have amounted to EUR 60 million. Vogelaar will have an accountant look into whether this is true.

Although the cabinet wants more people to become acquainted with the Dutch language and society, few people attended such a course last year.Complicated new regulations prevented municipalities from referring many candidates.

The Integration Act was pushed through Parliament by former minister Rita Verdonk at the end of 2006; a few weeks later municipalities were expected to start working with the regulations.

Although everyone seems to agree that the law has failed because of over-complicated regulations, municipalities and educational institutes are being blamed for poor results.

Verdonk's successor, Vogelaar, has since simplified the law to some extent. She hopes that many participants will follow courses this year as a result. She is also launching a special campaign to encourage immigrants, and other whose Dutch is poor, too attend courses.

Vogelaar says many immigrants have "cold feet" because of the problems with the new law. The campaign is due to be launched this spring.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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