Dutch unease over society understandable

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The unease that native Dutch people feel over changes in their society is “understandable,” Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen said at a symposium on populism 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 CDA, one of the partners in the Dutch two-party coalition. “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 points out that the CDA lost in the last four elections. Mr Verhagen’s speech may have been aimed at revitalising support for the party. 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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