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Dutch News
Netherlands News 4/17/2011

Immigration police put on extra alert for illegal Tunisians
Immigration police at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport are to carry out extra checks to make sure thousands of Tunisians given visas by Italy do not enter the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports on Saturday. North African migrants without enough money to keep themselves, without the right paper work or who are considered a threat to public order will be sent back to Italy immediately, the paper says. Italy has given temporary visas to some 25,000 Tunisians, which allow them to travel freely throughout Europe. According to news agency ANP, immigration police are not allowed to make random checks on residency permits but can ask to see documents at work and if someone has committed an offence. Immigration minister Gerd Leers has also proposed reintroducing some form of border control, ANP says. The Netherlands is a member of the Schengen group of countries, which have ended internal border checks. The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg are also demanding the European Commission makes sure the finger prints on Tunisians who have been given temporary permits to stay are kept in the European data bank. ‘We are sending out a strong signal. Illegal Tunisian migrants found in the Netherlands will be declared undesirable,’ he is quoted as saying. The minister believes most of the Tunisians are economic refugees and there is a large risk they will disappear into the illegal sector, he says.

Dutch businessman tops up Utrecht marathon prize money
A Dutch businessman who is based in Kenya is to give €9,900 to the non-Dutch winner of this year’s Utrecht marathon because he is so ashamed of the organisers’ efforts to discourage foreign runners, the Parool reports on Saturday. Gert-Jan van Wijk has decided to spent his company’s marketing budget on the prize to make sure a foreign winner gets as much as a Dutch one, the paper says. The organisers of the 42 km race on April 25 have decided only to pay large cash prizes to people who have been asked to take part – and only Dutch nationals have been invited, the Volkskrant reported earlier. A foreign winner of the event will get €100. Kenyans have won the event for the past four years and the organisers say they want to encourage domestic talent.

Cabinet to get tough on jobless Europeans, and bad employers
European nationals who do not have a job or who cannot financially support themselves will have to leave the Netherlands within three months, if new rules the government is planning to introduce come into force. The aim of the new measures is to ‘better regulate the arrival and departure’ of migrants from other EU countries, ministers say. It is not yet clear if and how the measures conflict with EU rules on the free movement of people. ‘The direct cause [of the new measures] is the increase in migration from Central and Eastern Europe but the tougher measures affect all EU citizens,’ the document, drawn up by the social affairs and immigration ministries, says. The new rules state EU citizens with no means of support will have to leave the country and those who spend more than three months looking for a job will also lose their right to stay. Welfare (bijstand), the basic social security payment for people will no other means of support, will only be paid to people who speak Dutch. Claimants must complete a course to qualify. The requirement to speak Dutch will affect everyone, not just EU citizens.

Farmers threaten minister with court over Romanian visa stop
Market gardeners in the south of the country say they will take social affairs minister Henk Kamp to court if he does not change his mind over work permits for Romanians by 17.00 hours on Monday, news agency ANP reports. The growers – largely orchard owners and strawberry farmers – rely on some 2,000 Romanian seasonal workers to bring in the harvest. Kamp said in March he will not agree to any more permits for people from Romania from July 1. The growers should use local unemployed workers instead, news agency ANP quotes him as saying. The growers’ organisation ZLTO says the minister is wrong to change policy in the middle of the season and that his action threatens their contracts with the retail sector.

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