The Dutch are increasingly happy with the state of the economy and their own personal situation but worried about the arrival of thousands of refugees, according to a new report from the social policy institute SCP.
Almost 30% now consider immigration and integration to be the biggest problems facing the country, double the figure at the start of the year. In particular, people are afraid of increasing tensions in society and many think it unfair so much money is being diverted to refugees while Dutch people live in poverty, the SCP says.
Almost 40% of college graduates and 70% of those with vocational training agree that the Netherlands may lose its distinctive characteristics due to immigration and open borders, the survey shows.
Two-thirds of those polled think the Netherlands should reduce its focus on problems outside its own borders and focus on domestic issues.
‘People want to go back to the Netherlands as they think it used to be: safe, cosy and okay behind our dykes,’ the SCP’s Paul Dekker told broadcaster Nos.
Just 13% of those polled said the Netherlands can absorb more refugees and is angered by the lack of hospitality towards them.
The report also showed almost three out of four people are happy with the state of the Dutch economy, up from 64% in the third quarter of the year. They are also more positive about their own finances.
The SCP carries out a report on public opinion in the Netherlands every three months.
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