Thursday 29 October 2020

Fury as VVD councillors in The Hague blame immigrants for housing shortage

The Hague’s city hall. Photo: Ellywa via Wikimedia Commons

VVD councillors in The Hague have angered their coalition partners by backing a motion drawn up by the far right PVV which states that the city’s housing shortage is due to the ‘enormous increase’ in the number of ‘immigrants with poor prospects’.

The motion, also backed by local populist parties, goes on to call on the city council to draw up policy to counteract this population growth.

The VVD’s decision to support the motion, which did not win enough votes to become council policy, has enraged the VVD’s partners in the city’s coalition administration. GroenLinks councillor Erlijn Wenink said the VVD had ‘crossed the line’ and Labour councillor Janneke Holman described the vote as ‘garbage’.

D66 MPs have now called on prime minister Mark Rutte to distance himself from the vote. ‘The PVV put forward a motion that can only be summed up as “minder, minder minder”, MP Jan Paternotte said on Twitter, in a reference to PVV leader Geert Wilder’s controversial chant.

‘And who joins in but Henk Otten (ex Forum voor Democratie, now Partij voor de Toekomst) and the VVD,’ Paternotte continued. ‘Be a prime minister for all people in the Netherlands and distance yourself from this.’

Martijn Balster, the city’s housing chief, said the VVD’s support for the motion, which was lost by 18 votes to 23, would be discussed within the coalition.

Poll

A poll earlier this week said local populist party Groep de Mos would be the biggest in the city by far if there was a local election, despite its involvement in several scandals. Party founder Richard de Mos is also a former PVV parliamentarian.

The population of The Hague is currently around 545,000, and has gone up 1.4% since 2015. In the 1960s, the population was over 600,000.

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