Social affairs minsister Lodewijk Asscher says European commissioners Neelie Kroes and Laszlo Andor are trivialising his warning about low-skilled migration within the EU, the Volkskrant reports.
In a newspaper article last month, Asscher said the Netherlands should be on orange alert to warn about some of the ‘negative consequences of the free movement of workers within the European Union’.
‘We need to watch out: in some places the dykes are in danger of bursting,’ Asscher said in the article, which focused on the risk to Dutch jobs posed by the arrival of cheaper workers from other EU countries.
Kroes reacted with an opinion piece in which she said the minister is like Hans Brinker, the little boy who put his finger in the dyke to stop it bursting. ‘Are we really going to say no to skilled workers merely because they are from another country?’ the commissioner asked.
Social affairs commissioner Andor said in an interview with newspaper BNDeStem that Asscher is exaggerating. ‘At times of crisis, politicians always try to connect with their electorate’s fears,’ he said.
Asscher told the Volkskrant on Friday European politicians always ‘have convulsions’ when labour migration is mentioned. The commissioners are trivialising and making fun of his warning, the Volkskrant quoted him as saying and he renewed calls for a ‘serious discussion’ with the commission about migration issues.
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