The Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek denounces, on Tuesday in a press release, the existence of a “refugee camp in the heart of the North Quarter”, a symbol according to the local authorities of “the reception crisis caused by the inaction of the federal government in terms of migration policy. About 700 people currently occupy a building located at 46 rue des Palais. These are mostly people holding an article 26, who should therefore be hosted by the federal state, believes the municipality.
“This building, which is the subject of a rehabilitation project with the creation of housing, was to be temporarily occupied for two years by the Brussels-Capital Region in order to accommodate beneficiaries of temporary protection for Ukrainians. Work had been undertaken in this direction before a massive and uncontrolled occupation began, and interrupted them”, add the municipal authorities.
An eviction notice was issued by the judge on November 17, after the sending of a request signed by the owner and the SLRB (Société du logement de la Région bruxelloise), and gives the occupants three weeks to leave the premises. . “It is therefore a real race against time which is committed to the rehousing of these refugees but in which the federal government refuses to participate”, denounces the municipality, which evokes proven cases of scabies, diphtheria and suspicions of tuberculosis on the spot.
Mayor Cécile Jodogne (Défi) appeals to the federal government. “I demand that Secretary of State Nicole de Moor (CD&V) take her responsibilities and finally present us with concrete solutions in order to organize the rehousing of these refugees quickly. These people are her responsibility. An emergency operational unit should be in place by the end of the week.” It also calls for collaboration with other levels of power.
Nicole de Moor: “we don’t know who lives in this building”
State Secretary Nicole de Moor recalls that a meeting is scheduled for this afternoon with representatives of the residents of the building. “Until today, we don’t know who is staying in this building. Undocumented migrants have no right to a reception place. They can be helped with returning to their country of origin” , explains the elected CD&V. “Others who have an invitation to the Foreigners Office are on a waiting list to obtain a reception place at Fedasil. Vulnerable people (families and children) will be given priority accommodation.”
“The Crisis Center is working to make the capacity for emergency places operational and there is also an agreement with Brussels for places in structures for the homeless this winter as long as places are missing.” In addition, an extraordinary European Council on asylum and migration is scheduled for Friday. The Secretary of State will surely stress that it is not possible for asylum pressure to continue in some countries of the European Union and for there not to be equal pressure in others. European country. “It’s no longer tenable.”