Populist party Leefbaar Rotterdam, which forms part of the current city government, wants to bring in new legislation to stop streets becoming ‘un Dutch’.
This would mean allowing officials to stop halal butchers, phone shops and other outlets identified as ‘foreign’ from opening if that threatened the character of the street.
Campaign leader Joost Eerdmans says he has the support of a majority of Rotterdammers. A poll by Maurice de Hond carried out on behalf of his party found 96% of PVV voters, 90% of Leefbaar voters and 86% of VVD voters would back such a ban.
In an interview with the Volkskrant on Thursday, Eerdmans said that he considers the local elections to be a referendum: ‘Are we for freedom, tolerance and progress or are we keeping half an eye on Istanbul or Mecca,’ he said.
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