Last week saw the start of a period of “regularisation” in which illegal immigrants would be able to put their affairs in order, subject to strict conditions. But the anticipated flood of applicants failed to materialise. In Ghent, a tent to provide shelter for waiting applicants and barriers to hold them in line were eerily deserted (see photo). In Antwerp, 20 specially detailed municipal workers were idle.
"People even from the poorest countries don't want to come here anymore, because of high prices for rent and obligation to learn the language" -said social worker with the tears on her eyes.