Cabinet ignored claim that 90,000 asylum seekers are headed to Netherlands

Asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vito Manzari)Asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vito Manzari)

In November last year officials told the government that they expect that some 90 thousand asylum seekers will arrive in the Netherlands in 2016. The government chose to ignore this prognosis and adjusted the plans to a lower number, namely 58 thousand asylum seekers, sources told television program Nieuwsuur. 

According to the sources, the government has "political reasons" for ignoring the prognosis. The VVD in particular finds 90 thousand an "unacceptably high number".

In reaction to the news, responsible State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice said that there were multiple projections from different agencies. "We decided to not passively watch which scenario unfolds, so we set ourselves on 58  thousand. That is what we are taking into account. In the mean time we are working hard to not wait for what is going to happen, but to intervene and ensure that it will be less", he said to the Volkskrant. Dijkhoff also said that the Netherlands wants to reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to the country, and hopes to achieve this partly thanks to the European agreements with Turkey. 

Opposition parties CDA and D66 wants clarification from the government about the matter, ANP reports. D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma thinks the government is misleading the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament. He wants the government to send the different calculations to the Kamer. CDA parliamentarian Mona Keijzer tweeted that she wants a parliamentary debate on the matter and will ask for substantiation of the figures.


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