Over half of planned asylum centers may not open

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Asylum seekers on Dutch navy frigate Zr. Ms. Van Amstel after being rescued from a sinking ship, 15 June 2016 . Asylum seekers on Dutch navy frigate Zr. Ms. Van Amstel after being rescued from a sinking ship, 15 June 2016 (Photo: @GeneraalVerkerk/Twitter)

The plans for more than half of new asylum centers in the Netherlands may be cancelled, NOS reports after surveying the Dutch municipalities that had asylum centers planned. The reason for this is the massive decrease in the number of asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands.

A total of 40 new asylum centers were scheduled to open in the coming months, representing approximately 20 thousand beds. But according to NOS, about 40 percent of the beds in existing shelters are already empty. This means that 24 of the the new centers may be cancelled. For another four it is already certain that the centers will not open.

The municipalities, provinces, Cabinet and COA - the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers - are meeting today to discuss how many centers are still necessary.

According to the broadcaster, a number of municipalities are annoyed that the asylum center in their town may not open, especially given how hard they worked to get support for it in the community. "After we were firmly convinced, you take the bottom out of the trust in local government with this decision", Hilversum mayor Pieter Broertjes wrote in a letter to the COA.

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