Sunday 12 July 2020

Rotterdam VVD alderman calls for one per 1,000 refugee quota


A Rotterdam council alderman is calling for a local quota for refugees with residency rights, saying the port city cannot deal with more than one refugee per thousand local residents.

Bert Wijbenga made the comments in an interview with the NRC, saying it is ‘antisocial’ not to impose a limit.

‘If someone says to me that setting a limit is antisocial, I would say to them that it is antisocial not to do so,’ he told the paper. ‘Because in that case what you are saying is that everything is okay and will work out.’

Refugees, he said, are putting pressure on rent-controlled homes, education and healthcare and this means that local authorities should be given more say over how many they can absorb.

At the moment, national government decides how many refugees who have been given residency permits will be sent to each local authority on an annual basis.

Wijbenga’s suggested quota of one refugee per 1,000 ordinary residents would be equivalent to 640 refugees in Rotterdam, well above the 556 allocated to the city last year.

Rotterdam city council is run by a seven party coalition covering the entire political spectrum but excluding the populists of Leefbaar Rotterdam.

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