Silja Europa, a cruise vessel that will accommodate about 1,000 asylum seekers from now to February, arrived in Velsen-Noord, in North Holland, on Wednesday. The cruise vessel reportedly departed from Tallinn in Estonia during the weekend. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers have informed that they will require about three to five days to prepare the vessel for the asylum seekers, Dutch media NH reported. However, it is unclear when the first group of asylum seekers will arrive.
Asylum seekers have been grappling with a significant spacing crisis in the Netherlands, with hundreds being compelled to sleep outside asylum centres. On 21 August 2022, 300 individuals slept outside the Ter Apel asylum centre.
Locals of the Velsen-Noord area have questioned the decision to bring the ship to their town. In July 2022, a massive group of residents protested against the vessel’s arrival, mentioning that almost 1,000 asylum seekers were too big to fit in a town of about 5,000 residents.
In August 2022, the government bought the Albergen hotel exclusively for asylum seekers. This sparked several protests in the area. About 150 to 300 asylum seekers are expected to be in the hotel located in a village with a population of approximately 3,500.
This is the first time the government has purchased a building for such a cause without agreeing to the decisions of the local municipality.
King Willem-Alexander on Tuesday delivered the annual speech on Prinsjesdag, discussing the present spacing crisis for the asylum seekers. He said that anyone entitled to stay would have the obligations and the rights associated with participating and integrating into society.
References: Euractiv, Flipboard
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