"I don't think the question of origin is the issue"

Wednesday's report about Bart De Wever's proposal to build a Belgian prison in Morocco has sparked controversy, also on our Flandersnews Facebook page. Mr De Wever says this prison could provide a solution to the problem of drug dealers that are now being escaping a prison sentence in Belgium.

Antwerp Burgomaster Bart De Wever (Flemish nationalist) argues that "a Belgian prison in Morocco could provide a solution to the problem posed by drug dealing illegals who are often left untouched and not expelled when they are caught."

This soon caused frictions with the Belgian Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom (liberal), who is one of his colleagues in the Antwerp city council. In a nutshell, Ms Turtelboom said this is a bad idea, simply because it's not realistic or feasible. She added that making this suggestion, is the same as deceiving the people.

"Lack of perspective on both sides of the spectrum"

Ms Turtelboom was not the only one to react as the report also caught the attention of our readers. While some support the idea, others are strongly opposed to it, while some put things into perspective.

"Perfect idea", writes Inara Laukenberga. "As usual, just trying to grab the headlines," says Simon Pountney. "He is more creating topics than solving any of them", claims Yu Yang.

Pedro Ramos writes: " I am not a fan of De Wever at all, neither do I say this is an easy subject. But the demagogy and lack of perspective of both sides of the political spectrum just makes me roll my eyes. Nobody is willing to question their views and seek a middle ground. Everyone owns the truth and all arguments are final."

Pedro Ramos adds: "As for what "Moroccan origin" goes (or any other "origin"), if they have a Belgian ID card, they're Belgian, period. Born in Belgium? Belgian! Origins origins... that's a cultural issue, not a legal one. If someone with Belgian citizenship is caught committing a crime, the "origin" is (or should be) irrelevant. If on the other hand, a foreign citizen of any country, who is in Belgium illegally, is caught committing a crime, I can see the train of thought which would lead some people to question the keeping of said criminal in Belgian soil at all. On the same logic, a Belgian citizen, illegally in Morocco, who commits a crime there, could just as well be sent to Belgium to be dealt with by the Belgian authorities if the Kingdom of Morocco doesn't want that individual in their territory."

Liraz Demasure also puts things into perspective. "I don't think that the question of origin is the issue. If someone is illegal, he shouldn't be here, period. If those criminals are holding a Belgian ID, they should be treated like any other Belgian citizen, and if not, they need to leave the country."