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Belgian mayor proposes BAN of male refugees from swimming pool after complaints from women

A BELGIAN mayor is proposing banning male refugees from a swimming pool for a month today after complaints from female bathers.

The comments from the mayor earned a swift rebuke from the migration minister who said it would be ill-advised.

The proposal underlined an increasingly highly-charged debate over immigration in Europe, particularly since authorities in neighbouring Germany accused gangs of migrants of sexually assaulting women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

“We had women complain because they felt stared at and selfies had been taken with them. It’s escalating. We never had any complaints before,” said Marc Vanden Bussche, mayor of the coastal town of Kokzijde.

Mr Vanden Bussche said he had decided to act after police were called in to investigate an Iraqi man who had caught an 11-year-old girl as she came off a slide.

The politician from the Dutch-speaking liberal party Open VLD, said he would propose a one-month ban at a council meeting on Monday to allow tempers to cool. The town recently took in 300 asylum seekers.

“In the meantime we will teach them about our way of life and explain the rules of the pool to them,” he said, adding the ban would not affect children and their mothers.

Belgium’s state secretary for migration, Theo Francken, advised against the move.

“It’s never wise to punish a whole group for the


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