Prime minister Mark Rutte told MPs on Wednesday he would have had a different attitude to the dual nationality of one of his junior ministers if she had had a Turkish, rather than a Swedish passport as well as a Dutch one.
There is a difference between Turkey and Sweden because Sweden does not try to interfere with its natives who live abroad. But Turkey, for example, calls up Dutch Turks to do their military service, the prime minister said.
‘But ultimately, the only test is one of loyalty, and she answered positively,’ Rutte said during the second day of debate on the new government’s plans.
Morocco, Argentina and several other countries do not allow their nationals to give up their original nationality.
The new government wants to tighten up the rules on dual nationality so that ‘one nationality becomes the norm’. Some one million Dutch nationals are thought to have a second nationality.
As well as people with a Turkish or Moroccan background, many are German, British and American.
Opposition MPs accused the prime minister of discrimination. By saying dual nationality is okay if the other nationality is Swedish or British but not if Turkish or Moroccan, the prime minister is ‘on the edge’, Alexander Pechtold, leader of the D66 Liberals said.
Junior health minister Marlies Veldhuizen van Zanten told news agency ANP her dual nationality is an emotional issue rather than a practical one. She refused to say if she would give up her Swedish nationality if asked to do so.
Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV said he opposed all dual nationalities.
‘Swedish, Luxembourgois, from the king of Tonga or Morocco, we are against it,’ Wilders said. He has submitted a motion to parliament, calling on the minister to renounce her Swedish nationality.
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