Election watch: Bontenbal on migration, Yesilgöz on the PVV

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Netherlands goes to the polls to elect a new government on November 22. Here’s a round-up of today’s election news.

CDA leader Henri Bontenbal has given his take on the party’s backing for restricting the number of foreign nationals allowed into the Netherlands to work or as refugees. 

“The Netherlands cannot support the current rate of migration,” Bontenbal told a meeting in Amersfoort on Saturday. And when it comes to labour migration, there needs to be certainty about the type of economy the Netherlands wants to have and where foreign workers will be needed, he said. 

“Migration disrupts societies, whether it be the brain drain of bright youngsters who move elsewhere or the build up of problems in vulnerable neighbourhoods and the pressure on housing and public services,” he said. 

“The left looks away, the right pretends we can simply close our borders, but that is not going to help us deal with the problem,” he said, adding that measures to control all forms of migration need to be done at a European level. 

“If we opt for a high worth economy, then we gain nothing from the distribution centres near the highways, where cheap migrant workers send out low cost packages, without adding any value,” he said. 

Van der Plas in the Telegraaf

BBB leader Caroline van der Plas has given a widely-criticised interview to the Telegraaf newspaper, in which she said her party can still win up to 25 seats in the election.

The BBB had been on target to be one of the biggest parties after the November vote, but its fortunes have since been eclipsed by the decision of former CDA parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt to launch a party of his own.

During the interview she described Omtzigt’s policy on factory farming as “D66 language, animal rights language” but said his party was still her favourite as coalition partner. 

The VVD would also be an option “even though I think it has moved to the left,” she said. “They can do more for business and cut the talk about climate,” she said. 

Yesilgöz in The Times

VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz has been speaking to British newspaper The Times about her childhood as a refugee in an interview in which her hairstyle, a handbag and her choice of shoes loomed large. 

Yesilgöz was asked about her controversial position on forming a coalition with the far right PVV, having said earlier she would not rule it out. 

“I signalled that I wouldn’t exclude him beforehand,” she told the paper. “We are a coalition country. This is something different from saying that he is part of my dream coalition.”

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