Dutch fail to reach deal with Morocco on social benefits

lodewijk asscherNegotiations between the Netherlands and Morocco on treaties covering social benefits have failed, Dutch media report on Tuesday.

The Netherlands wants to reduce the reduce to local levels the benefits paid to Moroccan Dutch who have returned to Morocco. A majority of MPs say benefits should reflect local needs, not Dutch standards.

Morocco has criticised the decision, saying people who have paid social insurance premiums should be entitled to the same level of payouts as people living in the Netherlands.

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher discussed the treaties on social benefits during a visit to Morocco in March and hoped to announce an agreement between the two countries in June.

However, that date was later postponed to September 1.

‘Since March there has been intensive contact with the Moroccan authorities but so far this has not resulted in an agreement,’ Asscher told parliament in a written briefing on Tuesday.

If no agreement can be reached, the Dutch government is contemplating tearing up the treaties.

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