"We can cope with more than 50 asylum applications a day"

The Belgian immigration department where asylum seekers first have to register their application could register more than fifty applications per day, but is sticking to the limit set by the asylum secretary, Flemish nationalist Theo Francken.  However, Mr Francken's decision to limit the number of asylum applications registered each day to fifty is coming under fire from the coalition partners.  You would be forgiven for thinking that the election campaign for the 26 May general election has already started. 

The limit means that in practise able men are being sent away each and every day because families with children, women and vulnerable people are getting priority.

Geert De Vulder is the spokesman of the immigration department.  He told Radio 1 that the department could cope with registering more than fifty dossiers a day but that his department had received instructions that would be carried out: "The limit is the choice of the secretary of state, but we haven't got an easy task”.

Mr De Vulder indicated that the limit is resulting in chaos among young, single men: "We are now trying to gain control of the chaos.  We are dispatching officials to the queue (outside the office) to provide information".

Not all single men are being refused.

Geert De Vulder: "Single men who are ill or with a mental or physical challenge are receiving support.  It's above all women and children that are being let in (to the office to register)."