Brussels City Council does not want non-asylum migrant cases in Maximilian Park

Friday, 20 July 2018 12:58
Alain Courtois believes that residents must now reclaim ownership of the Maximilian Park. Alain Courtois believes that residents must now reclaim ownership of the Maximilian Park. © Belga
Brussels City Council no longer perceives that there is any justification for the presence, in Maximilian Park, of migrants who are not actually seeking asylum.
L’Echo reports on Friday that the issue is arousing complaints from local residents. The Deputy Mayor, Alain Courtois (Reformist Movement) is demanding a three-point plan.

The City Council says that given a large proportion of people in Maximilian Park are not themselves seeking asylum, but are only passing through the area, the pure proximity of the Asylum and Migration Office buildings can no longer justify their presence in the area.

Alain Courtois stresses that, in his view, these migrants are drawn to the park close to the Gare du Nord by mobile applications, the presence of passers-by in the area and the suggestion that, as migrants, they may be provided with something to eat.

Courtois says, “Residents have to reclaim ownership of the Maximilian Park. The decision is unanimous (on the Socialist Party-Reformist Movement Council, editor’s note) as to the view that if we do nothing, the same situation will subsist in the park in five years’ time.” He spoke about the issue on Wednesday with the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken (New Flemish Alliance) and the Department for the Interior Minister, Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance).

As alluded to above, Alain Courtois is calling for a three-point plan. L’Echo reports that this should include anti-smuggler measures by the federal police, moving undocumented migrants to another location (the Etterbeek barracks and a location in Haren - the former NATO headquarters - were mentioned. However, Theo Francken is refusing the creation of a “specific hub for the United Kingdom”) and tighter local police controls.

The Maximilian Park has been subject to several far-reaching police actions, specifically targeting migrants, in recent years. Last year, Theo Francken aroused indignation by affirming his wish to “clean up the park”. For a multitude of NGOs and volunteers, the location has also become one for protests in support of migrants.

Lars Andersen
The Brussels Times
Google Plus

More Stories

Entrepreneurs lay more than €300 million on table for medical research

Entrepreneurs lay more than €300 million on table for medical research

Urbain Vandeurzen, one of Belgium’s leading business entrepreneurs, has committed to spending €200 million through one of his companies to pay for research into Alzheimer’s disease.

March against Marrakesh can go ahead, says Council of State

March against Marrakesh can go ahead, says Council of State

The so-called March against Marrakesh, planned to take place in Brussels on Sunday, can go ahead despite a ban by the Brussels region, the Council of State has ruled.

Michel wants EU sanctions against people behind disinformation campaigns

Michel wants EU sanctions against people behind disinformation campaigns

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Friday on the margins of a summit in Brussels that he would like the European Commission to be able to conduct investigations and possibly take action against people who carry out disinformation campaigns to try and “destabilise democracies”.