Immigrants should give up their original nationality if they become Dutch, Labour party chairwoman Lilianne Ploumen says in an interview with Tuesday’s Volkskrant.
‘To me loyalty has nothing to do with nationality. But the country of origin must lose its grip. To become Dutch you must, in principle, give up your old nationality,’ Ploumen said.
Earlier this month, the national statistics office CBS said the Netherlands has over a million people with dual nationality.
Ploumen’s apparent rejection of dual nationality goes against her party’s stand until now. One Labour junior minister and the new Labour mayor of Rotterdam both have dual nationality.
The Volkskrant interview coincides with the publication of a Labour party policy document on integration written by Ploumen entitled Divided Pasts, Shared Futures.
In the document, Ploumen says the Labour party has been too tolerant towards immigrants for too long. ‘The one mistake we must never make again is to swallow criticism of cultures or religions in the name of tolerance,’ the paper quotes her as saying.
Newcomers to the Netherlands must choose to join Dutch society. The job of the government is to defend the state of law, tackle misunderstandings and generate opportunities through high-value education, good social services and an active labour market policy, Ploumen said.
Local politicians who have to deal with actual problems – such as the refusal of some people to shake hands – will have three choices: to tackle the situation according to Dutch standards, to confront or to tolerate.
Honour killings should be tackled according to the law, she said. But the wearing of Muslim headscarves in the classroom is an example of where tolerance should be used. And equality between the sexes is an issue requiring confrontation, the paper quoted her as saying.
The Labour party will vote on the policy document in March.
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