It was announced on Tuesday that the cabinet wants to force the municipality to take asylum seekers into the hotel, but there is significant opposition to that. For example, an automatic surge arose in the building on Tuesday evening. “This is not the way you treat people,” Mayor Willmain Haverkamp said Wednesday of the intent to force the reception “from the top”.
About a few hundred men attended the demonstration, standing together in different groups. They drink beer, and there is music playing. It is mainly the young people who want to show their distaste for Foreign Minister Eric van der Burg’s (asylum) intention to impose shelter on the municipality of Tubbergen. There are many bicycles and cars parked on either side of the hotel.
There was also an inverted Dutch flag, a symbol commonly used in farmers’ protests against nitrogen measures. And some tractors appeared with expressions of sympathy with the agricultural sector.
According to Van der Burg, the forced measure is necessary because more space is needed for refugees in the Netherlands because the reception center at Ter Apel has been completely full for a long time. Despite the resistance at Albergen, he has no intention of reversing his decision. According to the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), Albergen can accommodate three hundred asylum seekers.
That number in particular is a thorn in the side of the protesters, says one attendee, because that would be about 10 percent of the population of the village of Albergen. “They have to look at the relationships, and what impact that has on where you put the asylum seekers,” he says. The man estimates that almost all of the protesters come from Albergen and that the gang leaders are unforgivable. If they introduce themselves, the police will be called to come and have a look quickly, he says.
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