Poles, Bulgarians say they face more discrimination in the Netherlands

Polish and Bulgarian nationals say they increasingly face discrimination in the Netherlands, according to a new report by the government’s socio-cultural think tank SCP.

The report followed a group of Polish and Bulgarian nationals who moved to the Netherlands in 2009 and 2010 and were interviewed again in late 2012 and early 2013.

In 2010, 17% of Bulgarian nationals who had just moved to the Netherlands said they faced discrimination but this had risen to 66% by 2013. In the Polish community, 49% of new arrivals said they had to deal with discrimination, a rise of 10 percentage points on 2010.

The survey period coincided with a surge in anti-immigrant rhetoric from Geert Wilders and his anti-immigration PVV, including the launch of a ‘hotline’ to report ‘problems with Poles’.

This is likely to have had an impact on people’s attitudes and experiences, the researchers said. Negative experiences at work and in dealing with Dutch officialdom is also a likely cause.

At the same time, the percentage of Bulgarians who said they were happy with their lives in the Netherlands fell from 71% to 45%. Around eight in 10 Poles said they were pleased with their lives in the Netherlands, a figure which was unchanged from 2010.

The researchers said 27% of their original panel of Bulgarian nationals had left by the time of the second survey. Many of these are thought to have been students. Some 17% of the Polish nationals had left.

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