Prime minister Mark Rutte appeared on the youth television news show Jeugdjournaal to assure children of Moroccan descent they will not be deported in the wake of Geert Wilders’ anti-Moroccan chanting last week.
Rutte said he had been concerned by the Wednesday edition of the programme in which a girl called Hind said she was worried about Wilders’ statements.
‘It touched me enormously,’ Rutte said.
Rutte, who still teaches once a week at a trade school in The Hague, told the programme: ‘I get a lot of letters and speak to people. There are children who are angry and children who are worried. But perhaps worst of all are the children who are frightened that they and their parents will be deported. But nobody is just deported from this country. We are not going to do that. You don’t need to be frightened about it.’
The prime minister went on to state that everyone is treated equally in the Netherlands. ‘You can count on the government to protect you,’ he said. ‘Children in the Netherlands should never be frightened.’ Asked what would happen if the PVV came to power, Rutte said: ‘We will stop that happening’.
Wilders has repeatedly said in recent weeks he would like to see fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands and on election night led his supporters in chanting ‘fewer, fewer, fewer’. Hundreds of people have filed formal police complaints against him and several MPs, MEPs and provincial councillors have left the party.
Wilders reacted to Rutte’s television appearance saying: ‘Disgusting that Rutte is playing politics over the backs of children.’
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