March 10 2011
The Volkskrant reports that the Dutch coalition government will not allow opposition parliamentarians to see its calculations to halve the number of non-western immigrants to the country. The plans follow anti-Islam party PVV’s support for the current minority government, which was conditional upon halving non-western immigration to the country. Previous documents showed the cabinet planned to cut the figures by 15%, but the PVV maintains that civil service figures show a 50% cut is possible.
A poll in newspaper the Volkskrant suggests 50% of Dutch back the forced integration of foreigners into Dutch society, while 19% support a multicultural approach. Further, while 31% say they are “negative” about Muslims and 52% “neutral”, this figure has been stable for years. The poll was conducted in the run up to national elections on June 9, 2010, and suggests that integration takes a backseat to other issues such as health care, social security and the economy. Integration is only a major issue for the anti-immigration Freedom Party (PVV).
The Volkskrant reports that government ministers will discuss a request by Geert Wilders’ PVV party to calculate exactly how much non-western immigrants cost Dutch society. Ministers must decide how far they will go in their reply on this ‘sensitive issue’, which some political parties had hoped to ignore. Integration minister Eberhard van der Laan has asked the government’s social policy unit, the SCP, to help ministers make the calculations.
The rise in support for anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders means many Dutch Muslims are considering emigrating, according to a poll for NCRV tv. While 75% of Dutch Muslims said they still feel at home in the Netherlands, 57% say they feel less welcome, the poll shows, according to the Telegraaf. And 51% are thinking more often about leaving. In addition, 75% feel they are judged more negatively since the rise of Wilders and four out of 10 say they are more often discriminated against.
Nevertheless, 18% say Wilders does make some good points, the Telegraaf says.
The Volkskrant carries an interview with Rotterdam city council executive Hamit Karakus who warns that well-educated young Muslims are increasingly asking themselves if they have a future in Holland.
‘My children don’t understand it,’ he told the paper. ‘You cannot say they do not speak Dutch, do not understand the habits and culture, and that they are not well-educated. But they still have the feeling that they are not accepted,’ he said. The rise of Wilders’ PVV party, which emerged as the biggest in Rotterdam after the European elections, means that a growing group of second and third generation immigrants do not feel welcome and a small but growing group are turning to radical Islam, he said.