Geldermalsen scraps all asylum center plans

Riot police in Geldermalsen during asylum debate on Dec 16th, 2015 (Photo: @iWeethetbeter/Twitter)Riot police in Geldermalsen during asylum debate on Dec 16th, 2015 (Photo: @iWeethetbeter/Twitter)

The Gelderland town of Geldermalsen will not get any form of asylum center, the town council letter. According to the council, after anti-asylum center riots in the town last year, opening an asylum center is "unwise", Omroep Gelderland reports.

The council writes that they have spoken to residents about the matter over the past months. "Based on these opinions, and many expressed concerns about the political situation, the vast majority of the town council of Geldermalsen believes that there is no support for large-scale reception. A reception center in our town, also in a smaller form, is not an option for us."

The letter is signed by the Geldermalsen factions of the SGP, CDA, VVD, PVDA and local parties Dorpsbelangen, Lijst Van Vrouwerff and Leefbaar Geldermalsen. The D66 did not sign the letter.

In December last year a council meeting on the possible arrival of an asylum center in the town broke down after riots erupted in the streets outside. The council scrapped those plans and decided to investigate whether a smaller scale center would be possible. They've now decided against it, though will support a shelter in a neighboring town, the council writes.

The decision to scrap plans for an asylum center so shortly after riots led to criticism on the Geldermalsen government from various sides. According to critics, the town government gave the impression that you can get your way by using violence.

Dozens of people were arrested during and after the Geldermalsen anti-asylum riots. A total of 32 were convicted in court, a number of them were sentenced to a few months in prison.