Ministers under fire over Schiphol report

ustice minister Piet Hein Donner and planning minister Sybilla Dekker face tough questioning in parliament following a highly critical report into safety standards at the Schiphol deportation centre where a fire killed 11 people awaiting deportation last year.

The draft report, leaked yesterday, said deaths could have been avoided if planning and safety regulations had been met. It claims the authorities pressured builders to complete the detention centre as quickly as possible and fire regulations were ignored. The report will be presented to parliament before the end of September. Liberal (VVD) MP Frans Weekers told the Telegraaf that the report’s conclusions were ‘extremely serious’. Minister Donner declined to comment on the preliminary findings yesterday, saying it was only a draft report. Insiders say he could be forced to step down.

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