Over 60 percent of residents support the move
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The AZC (Asylum-seekers Centre) in Balk, Gemeente De Fryske Marren, will be closed in short order following a vote by the Gemeente council not to extend its contract. The Central Organ for the Care of Asylum-seekers (the COA) had asked the Gemeente to renew the contract for two years, but instead the centre will be closed. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
The committee of the Mayor and Aldermen first referred to a piece of research that showed widespread support from residents for closing. This research seemed to be the deciding factor for local politicians, with 11 of the 19 councillors supporting the motion to close the centre.
Perhaps a clue as to why the centre must close is the reaction of its residents to the proposals. All residents in Balk were asked for their opinion, and only 44 percent supported extending the COA contract in Balk (though only 38 percent were dead set against). Overall, out of all residents, 62 percent want the centre to close.
One can only imagine the conditions in Balk to make over 60 percent of residents support its closure.
Local chapters of the ChristenUnie, GronLinks, PvdA; and Kleurrijk Fryske Marren all came together to put forward a proposal to keep the centre open a little longer: “the people of the Netherlands have a moral will to give people that must leave their homes a helping hand”, said the parties.
The CDA went out of its way to say that the decision was not based on whether it supports the rights of asylum seekers in the Netherlands (though it would seem not to), instead hiding behind the fact that a 5-year contract for looking after asylum-seekers at Balk had expired.