Making threats against councillors who support the establishment of refugee centres in their locality is ‘totally out of order’ and ‘unacceptable’, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.
‘You can get angry, but violence or threats are not on,’ Rutte said at his weekly press conference. ‘That is the boundary and it must never be crossed.’
Politicians in several parts of the country have been sent threats for backing refugee centres.
The mayor of the Overijssel village of Rijssen-Holten has received death threats following his support for refugees. In Aalburg in Brabant, opponents threatened to burn down the town hall if the council agreed to settle 50 refugees, and in Rijswijk threats were made against individual councillors and their family members.
Rutte urged people to remain calm, saying that it is important that everyone works together to deal with the situation. In most places, refugees are being housed without any problems, the prime minister said.
Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk said all the threats made so far have been reported to the police.
Meanwhile, on Thursday night, hundreds of people packed into a meeting to hear Rotterdam mayor Achmed Aboutaleb outline plans to settle 600 refugees in the neighbourhood of Beverwaard.
Some shouted insults at Abouteleb, telling him to ‘shut your gob’ and ‘resign’.
There were also confrontations between opponents and supporters of a refugee centre in Steenbergen, a town of 24,000 in Noord-Brabant. Anti-immigration campaigner Geert Wilders had been due to attend that demonstration, news agency ANP says.
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