Dual nationality of Dutch minister "not an issue"
Two governing rightwing parties in the Netherlands have shrugged off objections raised by Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders to the double nationality of Deputy Health Minister Marlies Veldhuijzen.
The anti-Islam Freedom Party is a key supporter of the government and three years ago demanded the resignation of a Dutch-Moroccan and a Dutch-Turkish deputy minister. The motion was rejected and they stayed in office.
Blond At the time, Mr Wilders said about one of them, "Even if Social Affairs Deputy Minister Mr Aboutaleb had had a blond mop and a Swedish passport, I would still want him to step down." Ms Veldhuijzen, née Hyllner, has dual Swedish and Dutch nationality.
Ms Veldhuijzen's Christian Democrat party sees no objections to her holding two passports, and the free-market liberal VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Monday that for them too it is not an issue.
Mr Wilders has said he will put a motion before the Lower House stating his lack of confidence in Ms Veldhuijzen and asking her to resign, repeating the abortive moves he made three years ago. The Freedom Party's point of view is that the loyalty of ministers and deputies to the Netherlands should not be undermined by dual nationality. The motion is certain to be defeated. The opposition will vote with the government - against Mr Wilders' no-confidence motion.
Trial Nationalist anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders is currently on trial on accusations of hatemongering. The Public Prosecutor's office has said that his statements, although hurtful to Muslims, fall within the freedoms that politicians have in the public debate.
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