Saturday 01 April 2023

Geldermalsen refugee centre plan dropped in wake of riots

Migration Concept refugeesPlans to build a temporary refugee centre for 1,500 people on an industrial estate in Geldermalsen have been dropped, mayor Miranda de Vries said on Wednesday.

At least 14 people were arrested earlier this month when a mob of anti-refugee protestors tried to storm the town hall where the plans were being discussed.

Nevertheless, Geldermalsen will still do its duty, De Vries told broadcaster Nos, without giving further details. This will be done in dialogue with locals, she said.

The speed and scale of the previous plan was an error of judgement and did not deal properly with the concerns of the town’s population, the mayor said

She also thanked the police and security guards for the way they ‘protected local democracy’. The riots, which led police to fire warning shots into the air, ‘wounded both society and democracy’, she said.

The police originally reported all of those arrested came from Geldermalsen itself. However, four actually came from other places, namely Culemborg, Zaltbommel, Neerijnen and Lingewaal.

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