Dutch try to soothe east Europeans over website

17th February 2012, Comments 1 comment

The Dutch government moved Friday to soothe relations with its eastern European EU partners angered by an anti-immigrant website set up by a Dutch far-rightwing party.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal met 10 ambassadors from eastern European countries after a furore over the website created by the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) where readers can lodge complaints against eastern European migrants.

"The minister told ambassadors the website was the PVV's responsibility," a Foreign Affairs statement said in The Hague after the meeting.

Rosenthal also informed ambassadors he was "very positive over the contribution of central and eastern European migrant labour to the Dutch economy," the statement said.

Polish embassy spokesman Janusz Wolosz told AFP the ambassadors and Rosenthal had a "very good and constructive discussion."

"Minister Rosenthal was very clear in that he said that it (the website) had nothing to do with the Dutch government," he said.

Ambassadors and representatives from countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania sent an open letter to the Dutch parliament earlier this week to express their concern over what they termed a "discriminatory" site.

The Freedom Party, whose anti-Islamist leader Geert Wilders was acquitted of hate speech last year, last week launched the site named "Report Middle and Eastern Europeans", where readers can complain against "nuisances" caused by immigrant workers.

Dutch Premier Mark Rutte whose ruling minority coalition in the 150-seat lower house is dependent on support from the PVV's 24 independent lawmakers, has declined to condemn the website, saying it was the work of political party and not the Dutch government.


© 2012 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • well duh posted:

    on 17th February 2012, 23:32:34 - Reply

    In other words, the NL government is not willing to do anything about a racist and xenophobic website sponsored by their main backer and silent partner.

    Well, that means that they agree with it.