Amsterdam is investing millions into better managing the ever increasing number of people in the city, both residents and visitors, and into improving quality of life in the city, Finance alderman Udo Kock announced with the publication of the city's budget plans for 2017.
A commemoration for asylum seekers who died in the crossing to Europe arranged for Amsterdam on Thursday evening, at the same time as the national commemoration for WWII victims for Remembrance Day, has been canceled, the initiators announced in an open letter. "Because it was never our intention to commemorate refugees from angry words, we decided to stop our initiative", Matthijs Jaspers said, Het Parool reports.
Amsterdam pastor Rikko Voorberg wants to commemorate killed asylum seekers with 3 thousand white paper crosses on the Rembrandt square in Amsterdam on Remembrance Day. His plan was met by resistance from Jewish organization CIDI and the National Committee for 4 and 5 May, who want to keep the focus of Remembrance Day on victims of World War II, AD reports.
The asylum centers in the Netherlands are increasingly empty, the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA said on Thursday. The COA is currently housing some 24 thousand people, while there is place for a total of 45 thousand people, AD reports.
The city of Amsterdam is investing 2 million euros in housing for refugees - asylum seekers who were granted residency permits in the Netherlands. This money will be used as subsidies to encourage developers to turn private real estate into affordable housing, AT5 reports.
Last year the Dutch immigration and naturalization service IND performed 170 investigations into asylum seekers suspected of committing war crimes. In 20 cases the investigation led to the refusal of refugee status and a residency permit, according to figures the Ministry of Security and Justice sent to parliament on Thursday, AD reports.
Some cases are currently being investigated by the Public Prosecutor's International Crimes Team. These suspects may end up being prosecuted in the Netherlands.
The number of welfare recipients in the Netherlands increased by 4 percent last year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Tuesday. At the end of December 2016 the Netherlands counted a total of 467 thousand welfare recipients, 18 thousand more than December 2015.
The growth can mainly be attributed to non-Western immigrants, particularly asylum seekers who were given refugee status in the Netherlands last year. After being given a residency permits, refugees can apply for welfare.
Refugee and asylum children in the Netherlands do not have the same educational opportunities as children born in the Netherlands, the Education Council wrote in advice presented to parliament on Thursday. "Children's right to education should be leading int he asylum procedure", said Henriette Maassen van den Brink, chairwoman of the council, Trouw reports.
Even though Dutch people like to grumble when things do not go their way, the population is generally pretty satisfied about the country, according to a study I&O Research did on behalf of newspaper AD. The survey among more than 6 thousand Dutch found that while there are concerns about contradictions in society, most are positive about the Netherlands' future, AD reports.
The VVD wants more stringent integration requirements in the Netherlands including a total ban on face covering clothing, like burkas and balaclavas, in public. Wearing face covering clothing makes it more difficult for you to openly meet and greet each other, VVD parliamentarian Malik Azmani emphasizes in a broad integration agenda the ruling party is presenting on Thursday, Het Parool reports.
Only lst year Amnesty International fought against unjust regimes in countries like Turkey or Russia. This year the United States is almost at the top of the list and even the Netherlands is climbing in the rankings of countries the organization is concerned about, director Eduard Nazarski said to RTL Nieuws. He specifically mentioned PVV leader Geert Wilders and VVD leader and Prime Minster Mark Rutte.
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, united under G4, want to take back control over the integration process. The four large Dutch cities believe that customization is needed for integration to go smoothly, and that is impossible while the process is in the control of the national government, ANP reports.
Opposition parties and even coalition party PvdA have nothing but criticism for current Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte's "if you don't like it here, then get out" election campaign. PvdA leader and current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher called Rutte a poor substitute for a populist and accused him of sowing cynicism, while people who are dissatisfied should in fact work to improve the situation, NOS reports.
Since a law was passed in 2013 making integration the responsibility of immigrants themselves, only a third of immigrants passed the naturalization exam in time, according to a report by the Netherlands General Court of Audit. The exam is also taken at a lower level than before the law, NU.nl reports.
50Plus leader Henk Krol will not rule out working with Geert Wilders and his PVV in a next government, he wrote in an opinion piece in the Volkskrant. That makes the 50Plus one of very few political parties still willing to do so.
In 2016 the Netherlands received a total of 31,642 asylum applications, according to figures from the immigration and naturalization service IND. That is nearly half lower than the 58,900 applications received in 2015, NOS reports.
The Heerlen police arranged extra protection for the Grotius College and its school grounds. The College's director, teachers and students received threats in response to the suicide of 15-year-old student Tharukshan Selvam on Sunday, AD reports.
The improving economy and falling unemployment have the Dutch population generally feeling less pessimistic about the future of the Netherlands. The majority of the population is still negative, however, according to a quarterly survey by social and cultural planning office SCP, ANP reports.
The Dutch government is doing too little to help refugees find work, according to the social economic council SER in a report released on Friday, ANP reports.
The SER is an advisory body of employers, trade unions and independent experts.
Refugees who were granted asylum in the Netherlands since 2013 have to pay for their integration course themselves. According to the SER, this is a big problem. Only 10 percent of people who received refugee status last year found a job relatively quickly, according to figures from the municipalities. The rest have to live on welfare.
The central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA is cutting 1,300 of its total 4 thousand jobs, the Ministry of Security and Justice announced on Monday. This mostly affects people who are working for the COA on a temporary contracts, NU.nl reports
The COA needs to cut jobs due to the decrease in the number of asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Over the past years the number of COA employees were increased to deal with an influx, but that is no longer necessary. The people who have to leave were already informed.
Asylum seekers who have a good chance of getting refugee status in the Netherlands, will from now on start language lessons almost immediately. Syrian- and Eritrean asylum seekers in particular will benefit from this new policy, PvdA Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs announced, the Telegraaf reports.
State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice decided to scrap the bonus offered to undocumented Moroccans and Algerians if they leave the Netherlands voluntarily, he announced on Tuesday, ANP reports.
Rotterdam alderman Ronald Schneider was insulted and attacked by residents of the Hoogvliet neighborhood after a meeting about accommodating refugees in the area on Wednesday night, NU.nl reports
The municipality of Rotterdam wants to accommodate 12 refugees - asylum seekers with a residency permit - in Hoogvliet. These are men waiting for their families to arrive under the family reunification regulation. According to the plan, they will stay in the neighborhood for up to two years.
From now on refugees in the Netherlands will as far as possible be housed in a municipality where there is work that suits them, Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment announced in a letter to parliament. Up until now refugees were distributed more or less randomly, the Telegraaf reports.