Minister pressures Morocco over benefits deal

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Minister Asscher of Social Affairs is going to press Morocco in September that the social security agreement has to be amended, and that action on the agreement is running out of time, the NOS reports. 

The Vice Prime Minister spoke with coalition party VVD on Thursday night about amendments to the so-called homeland principle. This refers to benefits of people who have built up rights to those benefits in The Netherlands, which will be amended to the cost of living in the country where they currently live.

Earlier, a judge ruled that the homeland principle is not in accordance with the social security treaty between Morocco and The Netherlands. Many political parties now want this treaty scrapped in favor of the possibility to lower benefit sums. Coalition partner VVD filed a motion about this.

Earlier this week, Minister Asscher announced that he is against dropping the treaty, believing that to be an unwise decision because of several advantages toed to the treaty. International arrest warrants will be easier to cooperate on between the two countries if the treaty remains, the Minister argues.

Asscher is now trying to press Morocco to make its moves to amend the treaty so that benefits can be decreased. "That process is moving very slowly", he said this morning. "And I am now going to use the pressure that has developed in Parliament to make it clear that something has to happen now."

"A treaty between two countries must also be open to amendment. You have to listen to each other closely. The Netherlands has a very reasonable interest with this, which is carried very broadly in both the Parliament and the Senate."

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