Sunday 25 October 2020

Nearly 30,000 asylum seekers reached the Netherlands last year

no border network refugeesAlmost 30,000 asylum seekers came to the Netherlands last year, the highest number in 10 years, according to the Dutch refugee agency COA.

Despite the 13,000 increase in refugee numbers on 2013, the total is still well below the 65,000 predicted by the then junior justice minister Fred Teeven. The bulk of the increase is due to people fleeing the fighting in Syria.

The surge in numbers forced the COA to set up emergency accommodation last year and this was not always done properly, the agency said in its annual report.

For example, plans to house 1,400 refugees in the tiny village of Oranje led to a local rebellion and forced a rethink. ‘The opposition is understandable,’ the report said.

Last year, just over 20,000 refugees were given a residency permit, allowing them to move into regular accommodation. In 2013, 15,000 people were given a permit to stay.

The COA figures were published as the coalition government tries to decide how to cope with hundreds of would-be refugees who have been refused asylum in the Netherlands but say they cannot return home.

Talks aimed at averting a cabinet crisis on the issue are due to resume on Friday.

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