Belgium’s Secretary of State deplores ‘confrontational approach’ to refugees from some cities

Belgium’s Secretary of State deplores ‘confrontational approach’ to refugees from some cities
Migration minister Sammu Mahdi (CD&V). © Belga

Belgium’s Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi accused the city of Spa on Thursday of choosing “the path of confrontation” when it comes to the reception of refugees there.

Mahdi says the mayor of Spa is demanding that the capacity of the reception centre be reduced to 200 people, when it currently has some 400, according to Belga News Agency.

The city is also demanding a payment of €330,000 “because people are being accommodated there.”

“This is despite the fact that there is an effective capacity to accommodate 550 people and that the requests of the local administration have already been met on several occasions,” Mahdi said.

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He also complained about the attitude of the municipality of Boom in the province of Antwerp.

“There is still resistance to the arrival of a reception centre that should provide shelter for 160 people,” said Mahdi. “The local administration has already secured €4 million for the building that would be used temporarily.”

Belgium has been dealing with a crisis when it comes to asylum seekers in the country, with reception centres overwhelmed and refugees sleeping on the streets of Brussels in order to not lose their place in line.

Europe stepped in earlier this month to provide aid for the first time in a country not directly located on a European border.


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