Thursday 04 June 2020

Dutch minister won’t campaign to bring back visas for Albanians


A majority of MPs want ministers to pressure Brussels to reintroduce visas for Albanian nationals, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

MPs consider this is the only way to stop criminal gangs entering the country, and the move is backed by Amsterdam police and justice ministry officials, NOS said. Albanian gangs are said to be central to the Dutch drugs and money laundering industries.

However, ministers argue that bringing back visas is a ‘hopeless’ task and that Albania does meet EU criteria for visa-free travel. Foreign minister Stef Blok told MPs that he does not intend to attempt to make a case for reintroducing visas.

‘I am extremely disappointed that the minister is not in a position to say ‘this is causing problems in the Netherlands. We have to apply the emergency brake,’ Christian Democrat MP Madeleine van Toorenburg said during Thursday’s debate on the issue.

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