Wednesday 12 May 2021

Attitude to Poles ‘borders on discrimination’, says ambassador

The Polish ambassador to the Netherlands, Janusz Stanczyk, is extremely concerned about the changing attitude towards people from Eastern Europe in the Netherlands, he says in an interview with the Volkskrant.


‘I am getting more and more signals from Poles in the Netherlands that they are suffering because of the way politicians and the media talk about them,’ Stanczyk said.
In recent weeks, local and national politicians have called for action to curb the ‘tsunami’ of Polish and other Eastern European workers in the Netherlands. Social affairs minister Henk Kamp even called for jobless Poles to be deported, even though this is impossible under EU rules.
Problems
While problems with poor housing and alcohol abuse need to be tackled, the current media and political focus is getting out of proportion, the ambassador said.
‘Sometimes it borders on discrimination,’ he is quoted as saying. ‘It is as if drunk driving is a typical Polish thing. Politicians should lead and not contribute to the stereotyping of certain population groups.’
The ambassador said the Netherlands faced a ‘ticking bomb’ if its ‘respect’ for foreign workers further diminishes. Political statements about Poles are picked up by the Polish media and this may lead to Polish workers avoiding the country in future, he said.
‘It is a question of the Netherlands’ international reputation,’ he was quoted as saying.

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