Integration minister Ella Vogelaar launched a strong attack on anti-immigration politicians such as Geert Wilders, Rita Verdonk and the VVD’s Henk Kamp on Tuesday evening, saying they were all involved in a contest who see who could be toughest.
‘I will not join in the muscle flexing,’ Vogelaar said. ‘It is not in the interests of the public.’
Vogelaar made the comments during the presentation of her plans to increase the integration of ethnic minorities into Dutch society. She said she is extremely concerned at the widening gulf between native Dutch people and immigrants.
On the one hand, native Dutch people are worried about the increasing visibility of Islam which they find threatening. But on the other hand, non-western immigrants are not accepted as ordinary citizens, she said. ‘We want to end this polarisation,’ the minister told MPs.
Vogelaar’s predecessor Verdonk, who has launched her own political movement since being expelled from the VVD, said Vogelaar is ‘stupid’.
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