Rutte stands by 58,000 asylum seeker estimate; “Still too many”

Mark Rutte (Photo: Nick van Ormondt/Wikimedia Commons). (Mark Rutte (Photo: Nick van Ormondt/Wikimedia Commons))

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is sticking by his previous statement that the Dutch government expects no more than 58 thousand asylum seekers to arrive in the Netherlands this year. And even that is "still too many", he said Tuesday in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, the Volkskrant reports.

A number of parliamentarians accused the cabinet of creating social and administrative confusion with the two numbers currently floating about. The government expects 58 thousand asylum seekers, but reception organization COA, the provinces and municipalities are working on the expectation that 93 thousand asylum seekers will need to be accommodated. 

On Tuesday Rutte repeated his previous statements to the Kamer. "We assume 58 thousand. Under unchanged policies, that number would be significantly higher. But we are taking many measures in cooperation with Turkey, NATO's mission in the Aegean sea, how we are trying to fit everything happening in the Balkans into a European framework - it's all necessary to stem the flow", he said. "Should you do nothing, the number will amount to more than 93 thousand."

According to him, 93 thousand asylum seekers are unacceptable, both to the government and society. "The sum of measures we take must ensure that the flow of refugees gets under control."

Rutte added that he hopes that new international agreements can be maid at the European summit next Monday to gain more control over the migration crisis, including agreements on the distribution of asylum seekers across the European countries.