Minister backs Lee Anderson's 'righteous indignation' over illegal migrants
Migrants have begun arriving on the Bibby Stockholm barge docked in Portland off the coast of Dorset as part of a government plan to house asylum seekers while their claims are processed.
But the UK is not the first country to make use of large ferries to house migrants waiting for their asylum papers to be processed.
The Netherlands has already been housing migrants on ferries, an innovative yet polarising approach to address the nation’s immigration challenges.
The Silja Europa, among the largest passenger ferries globally with a capacity for up to 3,000 travellers, stands as a prime example.
Since 2022, this colossal vessel has been moored at a dock 20km (12 miles) outside Amsterdam, serving as a floating yet stationary home to 900 asylum seekers and migrants.
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This unconventional initiative comes in response to the Dutch government’s attempt to alleviate strain on the main reception centre near the German border, which has faced severe criticism for substandard living conditions.
The country’s political landscape is facing a deep crisis after Mark Rutte’s government collapsed earlier this year.
The Farmer Citizen Movement, a political force that swept to prominence on the back of opposition to government pollution policies, is redefining the political landscape of the Netherlands.
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With its success in provincial elections earlier this year, the movement has secured a strong presence in the Senate and regional councils, setting the stage for fervent discussions surrounding immigration, farming, and environmental policies.
At the forefront of the movement’s rise is its vigorous opposition to the government’s contentious pollution policy aimed at curbing nitrogen compound emissions, particularly originating from animal farming. The movement’s leader, known by the moniker “Caroline,” has harnessed the frustration stemming from unpopular pandemic lockdowns and historical mistrust in parliament due to scandals like childcare benefits and the Groningen gas field.
Across the nation, lime-green BBB flags and inverted Dutch flags have emerged as symbols of widespread support for the Farmer Citizen Movement, reflecting a populace disenchanted with the status quo and hungry for change.
In this dynamic political landscape, right-wing parties such as Geert Wilders’ PVV and the emerging far-right JA21 are flexing their muscles, while discussions about a possible left-wing coalition between the Dutch Green Left and Labour add to the complexity. As a snap general election looms, the Netherlands faces the prospect of a significant shift either to the right or left, largely contingent on the outcomes of the Farmer Citizen Movement’s campaign.
The movement’s impact has extended to various policy domains, particularly immigration, farming practices, and environmental regulations.
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