Amsterdam mayor, Justice secretary talk refugee housing

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan. October 6, 2010 (photo: Edwin van Eis / Wikimedia)Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan. October 6, 2010 (photo: Edwin van Eis / Wikimedia)

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan continues to explore how Amsterdam and other municipalities can provide shelter for asylum seekers. Van der Laan and Secretary of Justice, Fred Teeven, discussed this topic on Monday morning.

The municipality said that the government does not want to run ahead on a decision by the Committee of European Ministers on an opinion from the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), reports.

According to a yet confidential statement of this committee (in the hands of Teeven), illegals would be provided with shelter, food and clothing. This statement was only made public after another committee (of involved European leaders) raised complaints over it. A consultation of ministers is planned for October.

A spokesperson confirmed that the secretary does not want to prejudge the result of the consultation. The mayor of Amsterdam understands this, but he will keep searching for a form of shelter. This will be done together with three other major cities and the Association of Dutch Municipalities.

In cities, including Amsterdam and The Hague, dozens of illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers camped in vacant churches and other locations. Among them are quite a few people from Iraq, where the situation has deteriorated recently.



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