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New Belgians could forfeit their citizenship through criminality

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BRUSSELS The Belgian cabinet with former premier Yves Leterme back in the saddle now that his successor Herman van Rompuy has been elevated to the EU-presidency, has decided that naturalized citizens may have their Belgian citizenship forfeited if they descend into and are convicted of criminal activity. An unconditional jail term of five years is the general threshold for such a step, but the cabinet has also made a list of specific crimes that warrant the loss of Belgian citizenship. The concept is not new in Belgium but the new approach is not as cumbersome as the old road to forfeiture. The Dutch Minister of Justice, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, is contemplating a similar approach to criminals with a dual passport.