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Phantom citizenry a new phenomenon for the Dutch

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

HILVERSUM Investigative journalism has turned up a serious problem in Dutch society: the whereabouts of 400,000 people they call phantom citizens. No one seems to be able to trace these people. As a result, the report states, the government is missing out on millions in taxes. Amsterdam may have as many as 80,000 of such phantom residents (in Dutch called spookburgers, a new term.) The problem is also a serious one for business, which is trying to collect 100 million euros in receivables. Unlike North America, all residents in the Netherlands are legally required to report any moves with the local municipal registry.