Amsterdam’s city council’s efforts to make long-time residents from outside the EU get their compulsory integration certificate is angering all sorts of people who consider themselves completely at home, the Parool newspaper says.
No-one who is supposed to have a certificate is exempt, even a Turkish interpreter who has worked here for 30 years, the paper says.
Natasha Cloutier, a French Canadian who has her own company and has lived here for almost 10 years was asked to take her school certificates and work permit along when she went for an ‘intake chat’. ‘The person on the phone spoke worse Dutch than I do’, she tells the paper.
And American John Collins (59) who tried to buy a book about queen Juliana and prince Bernhard and was asked by the shop assistant ‘who are they?.‘ ‘Who needs integrating?’ he asks.
And there is South-African Tjaart Theron, who studied philosophy, theology and economics in his home country and the Netherlands – all in English.
He works as a translator and documentary maker and says the emphasis on compulsory integration, with no exceptions, creates aggression. Theron says he has no intention of taking the course. ‘My residency permit still has 10 years to run,’ he says.
Have you been asked to take the integration test or have you gone through the system? Use the comments form to share your experiences.
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