Record number of asylum seekers in Netherlands

A record number of at least 40 thousand people have applied for asylum in the Netherlands so far this year, compared to a total of 30 thousand applications received in 2014. In the past few weeks, the number of asylum applications has doubled compared to the previous weeks.

This is according to Gerard Bakker, the chairman of the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, who spoke to BNR.

According to Bakker, 2015 began relatively slowly when it comes to applications for asylum, with only about 200 to 300 requests per week. This past few weeks, the applications have increased to between 500 and 600 requests per week. Bakker wants to add at least 10 thousand places in the shelter facilities within the agency. "Then we're talking about between 35 thousand and 40 thousand places where I can offer people shelter." he said.

Bakker is not surprised by the Financieele Dagblad's report earlier today that more than 60 thousand undocumented immigrants have sought refuge in Europe. That is nearly 4 times as many as in 2014. "It comes as no surprise", Bakker said to BNR. "In recent weeks we have seen what is happening on the Mediterranean sea. Based on the intake figures of the past tw weeks, we see that the influx is incresing. To be precise: it is double compared to the weeks before. The majority is taken in in the region, a smaller part is coming to Europe and an even smaller part comes to the Netherlands."