Den Bosch mayor Jack Mikkers will not face prosecution over a comment about Moroccan nationals he made at a public meeting about the development of new refugee centres within the city boundaries.
The public prosecution department said on Friday it had decided to drop all 27 complaints made against Mikkers,
Mikkers made the comments at the meeting in October when a woman in the audience complained that Syrian refugees “are the worst there are”. “Syrians don’t need help,” she said. “Whatever happens, Syria is on top.”
The mayor reacted by saying “that is not true, it is Morocco.” The exchange was recorded by others in the audience and circulated on social media.
The prosecution department said it had decided to drop the complaints because the mayor’s comments could be seen as a reaction to problems caused by Moroccan asylum seekers.
“It is not about an insulting comment made about a specific group of people on the grounds of race, but on the behaviour of a specific group,” the department said.
Mikkers earlier apologised for his comments and said he would like to say sorry to everyone he had offended. “Now it seems as if I see the Moroccan community in my city as a nuisance group of Dutch people,” he said. “This is not the case. It is very far from who I am.”
Mikkers is a mayor on behalf of the right-wing Liberal VVD which is currently in preliminary talks on propping up a coalition government led by far-right party PVV.
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