Government Coalition Accord seeks to brake re-migration of immigrants

Jurriaan Bendien j.bendien at
Mon Jul 8 12:28:59 MDT 2002

Will the Netherlands change under the new [right-wing] cabinet ? Today we
feature the opinion of minorities. "Lack of vision", "arrogant" and "empty"
is the main response to the [new] integration policy. And there will be
more migrants coming to the Netherlands, not less, that is the expectation.
Take for example the children's supplementary benefit. If the new coalition
partners get their way, the benefit for children of Dutch residents living
outside the European Union will be drastically cut. Life in those countries
is a lot cheaper than in the Netherlands, says the official declaration in
the government accord. The children's benefit for Morocco will be cut by 90
percent. "Life in Morocco is maybe ten percent cheaper, but certainly not
90 percent", says Driss el Boukoufi, chairman of the Union of Moroccan
Mosque Organisations in the Netherlands (Ummon). The cut affects especially
people who have lived in the Netherlands a long time and paid social
insurance premiums, he said. "Many people have returned to the country of
origin after many years of labour in the Netherlands with the assurance
that they would continue to receive their sickness benefit, superannuation
or children's benefit".
Couples whose children live in Morocco or Turkey with relatives, because
they study there or go to school, will soon almost be forced to bring those
children to the Netherlands, says the Ummon-chairman. "But I assume that
was not the intention of the coalition partners".
The measures were intended to stem the influx into the Netherlands, but in
this way there will only be more people coming, Boujoufi considers. Abdou
Menebhi, director of the Euro Mediterranean Centre for Migration and
Development, thinks the same way. "Many people will think twice before
remigrating to the country of origin" , he says.

Excerpt from an article by Mayke Calis, translated from Het Parool, 8 juli
2002, p. 3.

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