Europe's MPs urge Dutch to condemn far-right website
Europe's parliamentarians urged the Dutch government Tuesday to condemn a highly controversial anti-foreigner website set up last month by its far-right Freedom Party.
"What message does the Dutch prime minister (Mark Rutte) hope to relay by not condemning the PVV website?" said Joseph Daul, head of the parliament's conservative EPP group during a debate on the hotly-contested site.
The "Report Middle and Eastern Europeans" site, pooling complaints against east European migrants, is the brainchild of the far-right Freedom Party or PVV, which offers parliamentary support to the centre-right minority coalition but remains outside government.
The website was "racist and untruthful", added Daul, urging the Dutch premier "to condemn this offensive website clearly and quickly."
Former Belgian premier and leader of the centrist ALDE group, Guy Verhofstadt, said there was no place in Europe for the "hate message" on the website blaming east European migrants for the loss of jobs in the Netherlands.
"All parties in the Dutch government should join is in distancing themselves from the content of this website," he added, while also lashing out at French President Nicolas Sarkozy's proposals this week to slice by half the number of legal migrants to France.
Poland and nine other east European nations which have joined the European Union since 2004 have called the site discriminatory.
Some 350,000 east Europeans live in the Netherlands, or two percent of the country's population of 16.6 million, according to official data.
© 2012 AFP