Possible new anti-squat law in the Netherlands

Next tuesday the Dutch parliament will vote on a proposal to make squatting in the Netherlands more difficult. The proposal was made by Christian Democrat Ten Hoopen and is aimed against 'criminal organisations who squat buildings to have parties'. Ten Hoopen proposed this to the parliament with a right wing majority after ten years of silence on the subject of squatting on national political level.

According to Ten Hoopen the squatters profit from free electricity and they make life more difficult for real estate owners. In an interview he said he wanted all squatting to be illegal. The next few days he got loads of counter arguments in the main stream media and it became clear he didn't know what he was talking about. Even his colleage from the Christian Democrat party 'CDA' responsible for housing issues said he didn't want to talk about making squatting in general illegal and preferred making plans against the housing shortage.

The Socialist Party already planned a campain against empty office space and a shortage of housing in this month. They squatted an office building a few days after the proposal. The common squatters continue daily squatting actions and make themselves up for a long campain against unnecessary new laws.

After tuesday the Minister of Justice will react on the proposal.

At this moment an owner can get squatters evicted if he can proof he has plans with the building after eviction. To get an eviction warrant he has to go to court and squatters can defend themselves and try to proof that the plans are fake or will lead to eviction without future use. In 1994 another anti-squatting law was enforced: If the owner could convince the police that a squatted place hasn't been empty for more than one year he could get the police to evict the squatters without going to court. The initiative to go to court is in this law on the side of the squatters.

This law was made to protect small landlords who couldn't afford to go to court. The experience is that it's mainly big real estate speculators who are supported via this law.

A short english version of the Amsterdam squatting guide is on http://squat.net/kraakhandleiding/english.html

A site on the anti-squatting law proposal: http://squat.net/kraakverbod


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