General amnesty goes ahead
Asylum-seekers who lied about their identity or background in their asylum application will be admitted to the general amnesty anyway. The cabinet has agreed on this, insiders in The Hague reported Friday.
In their coalition accord, the Christian democrats (CDA), Labour (PvdA) and small Christian party ChristenUnie agreed earlier that there would be a one-time amnesty for rejected asylum-seekers who applied for asylum before 1 April 2001 and have since remained in the Netherlands. Last month, insiders already reported that they would be allowed to have a criminal record providing it showed no unconditional jail sentence of 30 days or more.
It has now also been decided to open the scheme to aliens who lied about their identity, land of origin or flight account. The cabinet, say the sources, will not admit those who lied repeatedly. Those who 'only' lied once must admit they did this. War criminals are excluded.
TV programme RTL Nieuws reported that the amnesty will only cost 55 million euros, whereas 550 million had been spoken of earlier. It is not yet clear how this revision could be so drastic. The pardon is expected to apply to 20,000 to 45,000 persons.