Monday 27 March 2023

Prime minister under fire in parliament over PVV website

Prime minister Mark Rutte came under fire in parliament on Tuesday for his refusal to
comment on a website set up by its government alliance partner, the anti-immigration PVV, which calls on people to report problems caused by central and eastern Europeans.

‘This website is not the government’s but the PVV’s,’ Rutte said. ‘I am not going to react to political parties’. Rutte emphasised that labour migration from eastern Europe can be positive, the NRC reported.
‘But it has to be properly regulated,’ the prime minister was quoted as saying. ‘We often see exploitation by fraudulent staffing agencies and they are happy with low wages.’
D66 parliamentarian Gerard Schouw called on the prime minister to distance himself from the website. Up to now, there has been a ‘deafening silence’, Schouw said. And D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said the prime minister had to react because the Netherlands’ international reputation is under pressure.’
Rutte said he would continue to stress the government’s position to the Netherlands’ international partners, a comment dismissed as ‘weak’ by GroenLinks leader Jolande Sap. ‘If the prime minister had seized the initiative immediately, we would not have had 10 ambassadors attacking us,’ she said.
On Monday, ambassadors from central and eastern Europe sent an open letter to political party leaders calling on them to take action against the site.
Neelie Kroes, a VVD stalwart and European commissioner, used her blog to condemn the website. ‘It is always easier to blame others, but blame rarely solves problems,’ she said.
‘What comes next?’ she asked. ‘Do you have a problem with blondes? Report blondes here.’

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