The government is in ‘critical’ meetings to try to agree new policy on asylum seekers.
A meeting of party leaders last night began at 9.30pm and Dutch media report that prime minister Mark Rutte wants to reach a decision by Friday, so is putting pressure on his three coalition partners.
Rutte has said that he wants a crackdown on certain immigration in response to concerns from his VVD party, as numbers of asylum seekers are expected to increase this year and some predict emergency situations due to a lack of housing.
Dutch media have reported that Rutte is prepared to let the government fall if no agreement is reached, particularly on asylum seekers and the right of temporary migrants to invite family members to join them.
The government tried to ban refugees from bringing family members to the Netherlands unless they had permanent housing last year – after critical situations with people camping outside Ter Apel registration centre. It had to suspend the legislation in January after courts ruled it was illegal.
The NOS reports that the smallest government party the ChristenUnie believes restricting family reunion rights is unacceptable. The VVD and CDA Christian Democrats are arguing for different rights for people who are eligible for permanent asylum and for those whose status will be temporary.
However the ChristenUnie and D66 liberal democrats disagree. A law proposal to spread asylum centres and housing across the Netherlands is also struggling to reach agreement in parliament.
Thursday is the last day of parliament before the summer holiday.
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