Dutch nationality at 93 is ‘nonsense’

A 93-year-old German woman, who has lived in the Netherlands since she was a little girl, has undergone a formal naturalisation ceremony to become Dutch – because she could not prove who she was to her bank.

Gerda Bekker decided to take Dutch nationality after the Postbank demanded to see valid ID and she found her German passport was out of date.
The Dutch banks say anti-terrorism measures mean they will close accounts unless account-holders can prove who they say they are, no matter how long they have been a customer.
‘It is ridiculous,’ said Bekker’s son Norbert in Trouw. ‘Rules are supposed to make life easier but simple people are being terrorised. I can still hear (justice minister Piet Hein) Donner saying only suspects will have to prove who they are. My mother… are they mad!’
The naturalisation ceremony on Thursday in the Groningen village of Loppersum was carried out by mayor Albert Rodenboog under the full glare of the media.
Gerda Bekker, with an orange feather boa around her neck was nonplussed. ‘Its complete nonsense,’ she told reporters.
The Netherlands introduced compulsory nationalisation ceremonies last year.

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