Sunday 26 March 2023

Alkmaar says no to refugee reception centre, coalition collapses


Plans to set up a second refugee reception centre in Alkmaar have collapsed along with the city’s ruling coalition council, broadcaster NOS reported on Wednesday.

Immigration minister Erik van der Burg said at the end of January he was extremely pleased Alkmaar council executives had proposed the plan which, he said, would help solve the shortage of places considerably.

The aim was to relieve pressure on Ter Apel in Groningen, where all new arrivals are supposed to report but which has a major shortage of beds and staff.

However, Alkmaar councillors opposed the executive’s proposal, saying officials were going too far. That led to one board resignation last week and six on Monday evening.

Work must now start on putting together a new city coalition and that is a process which could take months, NOS reported.

Earlier efforts to set up a second reception centre in Fleveoland also fell apart on local opposition.


The Alkmaar centre would have had space for 250 new arrivals who would go through the official registration process on site.

The plan was to convert former tax offices into the centre, where refugees would stay for around a week before moving to more permanent accommodation.

Earlier this week, Van der Burg said the Netherlands needs to find another 2,000 beds to cope with demand.

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