Violence around refugees and a plea for a more sober approach

Akcakale - border gate refugeesThere were disturbances in the centre of Utrecht on Sunday afternoon during a demonstration by the German anti-Islam protest movement Pegida, but no arrests.

Around 200 demonstrators assembled on the Vredenburg to protest at the number of migrants arriving in Europe. Among the speakers was Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann.

Pegida was banned from holding a march through the centre of the city because of a counter-demonstration. The two sets of protesters were kept apart although small disturbances did break out.


The demonstration came at the end of a weekend when 11 people were arrested following an attack on a temporary reception centre for refugees in Woerden.

A group of around 20 men between the ages of 19 and 30 and wearing balaclavas attacked the centre on Friday evening, setting off fireworks and throwing rotten eggs.

The centre is temporary shelter for 97 adults and 51 children, mainly from Syria, Dutch media reported.

Prime minister Mark Rutte visited the Woerden centre on Saturday, according to news agency ANP. He said violence is never an option.

Less attractive

The Dutch government must make the Netherlands less attractive to refugees, right-wing Liberal VVD party leader Halbe Zijlstra said on Saturday.

He said that asylum seekers with a temporary residents status should only be eligible for strictly necessary medical treatment and no longer have priority for social housing.

The governing coalition party says refugees are threatening the Dutch social security system and it is time for anti-advertising. Zijlstra told the AD refugees can easily live with hand-outs of, say, €20 in a container home. ‘Right now it can reach €2,000 per family with extra benefits, and that is untenable for our country,’ he said.




Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation