Since 2014 the Dutch government has lost track of some 2.3 million seasonal workers, all foreigners who don’t have to register where they live if it they come over for less than four months, making them difficult to track down. However, that also means nobody can check whether they are being exploited or mistreated. They do have an identification number (in Dutch, ‘BSN’) to be able to receive their salaries in their bank accounts, but that’s it.
Have they stayed in the Netherlands, have they gone? No idea.
As explained by Dutchnews.nl, people planning to live in the Netherlands for more than four months are required to officially register with their local authority using a formal address. As explained by my personal experience of 20 years in this country, people make up addresses or use ones that have 20 people registered in it, which is illegal, but often goes unchecked.
(Link: nos.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)
Tags: exploitation, foreigners, migrants
According to RTVUtrecht, tons of advertisements for student housing (usually rooms in a house that has been subdivided for that purpose; they don’t live on campus), are flatly and illegally turning down internationals. It’s also not news that this group, maybe more than the Dutch, are also falling prey to dodgy landlords.
In this Dutch video, the chairman of a student rights association explains that international students should not be turned away, but quickly adds that he understands why this is done since it is so difficult for the Dutch to find housing, and that ‘there is a language barrier and many obstacles to be able to live with an international student’.
The thing is, major universities have been encouraging foreign students to enrol at their establishments to make money, but have no plans to deal with the strain that this causes on society, which in turn is then becomes the government’s problem. And since there’s a constant state of housing shortage that has existed at least in the big Dutch cities such as Utrecht for decades, it seems to be nobody’s responsibility, leading to this kind of self-protecting behaviour.
The chairman in the video blames the government and the universities and not the international students for the problem. A quick Internet search has students living on camping sites, caravans, hostels, refugee centers and even their cars for a bit until some of them get lucky, find a couch, or actually give up their studies. People are still willing to pay just more than regular people renting an entire flat to get a room because they don’t have many options.
This article is from last year, but paints a picture of what internationals go through here to try and find a room to live in.
And we wrote about students living in containers in Amsterdam a few years back.
(Link: rtvutrecht.nl, Photo of Multi-storey container housing by Rory Hyde, some rights reserved)
Tags: discrimination, foreigners, housing, housing shortage, students, Utrecht
Security and Justice Minister Fred Teeven had a plan to lure rich foreigners to set up shop in the Netherlands, hoping they would pump money into the economy by being allowed to invest in innovation – and nothing else. In one year’s time, one millionaire was interested but got caught up in red tape and gave up.
The idea behind the plan was to lure small IT companies rather than rich millionaires who buy a mansion and don’t invest, but that was never specified. Dutch online newspaper app Blendle is being funded by Americans, while the Dutch guy behind travel app Gidsy who left Amsterdam for Berlin with money from Aston Kutcher is now continuing his career in San Francisco. When an opportunity to fund innovation crops up, the Dutch government is glaring absent yet it believes to be competent enough to school rich foreigners on innovation.
“Foreigners who invest at least 1.25 million euro in the Dutch business community can get a residence permit for one year,” but only if they invest in innovation. Last time I checked how capitalism works, you let the rich people make business proposals and see if that fits the rules. When I left Canada 15 years ago you could get a resident’s permit for one year for 2,000 CDN (1,400 euro). I can’t possible imagine the price is anywhere near 1.25 million euro and being dictated to by a Dutch uncle.
Teeven doesn’t want criminals coming over and “parking their money”, but let’s be honest, he has a hand in letting in poorer immigrants who are turning to crime. And indeed with a few hundred failed asylum seekers still roaming the streets of Amsterdam two years after we told you about them, Minister Teeven’s policies are epic failures on all counts.
(I wonder if the NLTimes knows it’s using a promotional picture from the American vampire television series ‘The Originals’)
(Links: www.z24, www.nltimes.nl)
Tags: apps, Blendle, capitalism, foreigners, money