Dutch expelling more EU citizens

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The Immigration and Naturalisation Department’s recent policy of expelling from the Netherlands not only people guilty of serious crime but also repeat offenders has made a difference.

An increasing number of European Union citizens are being declared undesirable aliens and being forced to leave the country. An IND spokesperson confirmed a report about the turnaround which appeared in Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant. Official figures show that 230 EU nationals, including Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians, were expelled last year compared to 150 in 2010.

In 2011, Immigration Minister Gerd Leers announced he was going to toughen up policy. Not only serious criminals but also EU citizens guilty of repeat offences would be expelled from the country. He forecast that the policy change would result in twice as many EU citizens being deported from the Netherlands, but the figures show this has not been achieved.

The figures come as debate is raging in the Netherlands about the website launched recently by the populist Freedom Party (PVV) for complaints about East and Central Europeans living in the Netherlands. Many EU countries and the European Commission have condemned the site.

(mw)

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