Surge in refugees: 1,000 a week come to Holland, says minister

Entrance to refugee camp in Amsterdam

The number of asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands has gone up from 1,000 a month in February and March to around 1,000 a week, junior justice minister Fred Teeven said on Wednesday evening.

Teeven described the situation on television show Eén op één as “alarming.”

“It would seem to be organised human smuggling,” he said. “You can see it in the people’s clothes and the fact that their stories have been coordinated. They also all appear to have the same amount of money with them.”

“The asylum seekers, mainly from Syria and Eritrea, arrive in the Netherlands by train from southern Europe,” he said.

The increase in refugees is a European problem and should be tackled at a European level, said D66 parliamentarian Gerard Schouw.

Other MPs called for better controls at Europe’s external borders and more spot checks on the Dutch borders with Belgium and Germany. Spot checks are currently subject to strict limits under EU rules.