Most Dutch wants borders closed to Romanians, Bulgarians

Eight out of 10 Dutch people think the Netherlands’ borders should remain closed to people from Bulgaria and Romania from next year, according to a Maurice de Hond opinion poll for the Socialist Party.

The poll of 1,800 people shows 91% of supporters of the ruling VVD, 82% of SP supporters and 100% of people who vote for the anti-immigration PVV want the borders to stay shut, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday.

Even 53% of people who vote for the pro-Europe Liberal democrats D66 want restrictions to continue, the poll apparently shows.


The SP on Tuesday called on Asscher to take unilateral measures to ensure that visa requirements remain in place.

Socialist MP Paul Ulenbelt told the Telegraaf Asscher is all words and no action. The situation facing the Netherlands is ‘unbelievably irresponsible’, the paper quotes Ulenbelt as saying.

MPs are debating the home affairs ministry budget with Asscher on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Asscher reportedly said last week he considers British calls for limits to EU migration are ‘potentially interesting’ and plans to study them further.

British prime minister David Cameron has suggested a raft of measures to limit inter-EU migration ahead of the end of restrictions on people from Bulgaria and Romania at the beginning of next year.

Asscher plans to raise the ‘negative impact’ of free movement for people from Eastern Europe at the next EU leaders’ summit on December 9. The minister is also making agreements with Poland, Romania and Bulgaria to stop workers being exploited.

Pressure mounts

The Christian Democrats have also come out in support of Cameron’s ideas, website reports.

MP Pieter Heerma told the website the arrival of new workers from Eastern Europe will complicate the task of finding work for the almost 700,000 Dutch jobless. ‘Our labour market has a national and a European side,’ he said.

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