Antwerp: 'Immigrants not ready to govern'

Antwerp: 'Immigrants not ready to govern'

The mayors of Antwerp and Rotterdam participated in a debate together

"The immigrants in the party fractions aren't yet ready to participate in governing." With this statement Antwerp mayor Patrick Janssens defended himself against a comment by his Rotterdam colleague Ahmed Aboutaleb. The latter said it was inconceivable that an aldermen college would be completely White.

"In the following municipal elections in Belgium there should be diversity in the Antwerp city council. I fear for a problem with the representation of the degree of diversity if that doesn't happen," says Janssens.

During this term, he's keeping to his choice of a White alderman college. "Immigrants work in the party fractions, but they have too little governing experience. I've opted for the strongest team."

His Rotterdam colleague Aboutaleb points to a pitfall in Janssens' reasoning: "A lack of experience should not be an excuse not to involve immigrants. 174 nationalities live in Rotterdam. If only the ethnic Dutch (Whites) community will govern, the city has no future."

Integration can be better in Antwerp. Janssens think that immigrant don't dare to express enough criticism about their won community in public. But that can be different. "I was perplexed when public comment came from the Muslim community for Sharia for Belgium, an organization which wants to implement Sharia-law in Belgium. A unique occurrence in Antwerp."

Source: GvA (Dutch)

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