44 percent of Dutch against forced asylum center in own municipality
The Dutch are divided about the possible mandatory arrival of an asylum seekers' center in their own municipality. The Cabinet can now oblige municipalities to accept reception locations for asylum seekers, which happened for the first time in August. More than four in 10 Dutch people object to this happening in their municipality, according to a survey.
The Kieskompas conducted a survey for the ANP and LocalFocus between Aug. 31 and Sept. 12 among approximately 9,000 people. Forty-four percent of Dutch people indicated that they object to a "forced" asylum seekers' center in their municipality, while about 46 percent said they would have no problem with this. Ten percent were neutral or had no opinion about the subject.
There is currently a national shortage of reception locations for asylum seekers and municipalities are responsible for creating housing for asylum seekers with residence permits. Permit holders who are allowed to stay in the Netherlands cannot obtain housing and are therefore forced to continue living in an asylum seekers' centers. As a result, there is no room for new asylum seekers.
If a municipality continues to refuse to adjust the destination of a building that can function as an asylum seekers' center, the Cabinet can overrule the municipality. This happened for the first time early in August in Albergen in Overijssel, leading to backlash and demonstrations in the municipality.
Young people are less likely to object to an asylum seekers' center in their municipality than older people. For example, 54 percent of young people do not mind if the Cabinet designates a location in their municipality, while among people over 65 this is 44 percent. Women were also less likely than men to object to an asylum seekers' center imposed by the Cabinet.
There are also differences between regions: in Zeeland, Limburg and Drenthe more than half of the respondents object to the arrival of an asylum seekers' center. In Friesland, Noord-Holland and Gelderland, on the other hand, have a majority that has no objection to an asylum seekers' center.
Despite the objections, asylum seekers' centers rarely cause nuisance in the 30 municipalities where the largest asylum seekers' centers are located, Nu.nl recently reported.
Reporting by ANP