Dutch unease about society understandable

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The unease that native Dutch people feel about changes in their society is “understandable”, Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen said at a symposium on populism on Tuesday night. “These are legitimate concerns of the people.”

“Cohesion in towns and villages has disappeared with the advent of individualisation, immigrants from around the world and an increasingly complex society,” said Mr Verhagen, leader of the Christian Democrats, junior partners in the Dutch coalition government. “It is no longer taken for granted that our children will have it better than we did.”

Mr Verhagen’s speech, a copy of which was leaked by newspaper , addresses a series of questions that he said trouble Dutch people about society. He said he wants to discover how a politician should respond to this unease, rather than offer solutions that are simplistic and populist.

In its coverage of the speech, the paper points out that the Christian Democrats have suffered losses in the last four elections. Mr Verhagen’s speech may have been aimed at revitalising support for the party. 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

1 Comment To This Article

  • Cranky Bob posted:

    on 29th June 2011, 21:44:41 - Reply

    So this clown's been in power for, oh, years now, and finally decides to start looking for "responses" after losing four elections in a row. Let's see... who's to blame..... OH FOREIGNERS! THEY'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING BAD IN NL! He then says that simplistic and populist solutions are bad... right after he and his coalition has been offering them (try to take away rights, yank residency permits, push for a two-class system, stoke xenophobia and racism, legitimize discrimination... etc, etc) to appease the Dear Peroxide Leader.

    Sooner or later some voters actually might figure out that the biggest danger to the Netherlands comes from its politicians, not an IT database manager from Ottawa/housewife from Taiwan.