Poles slate Dutch anti-East European web result

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Polish diplomats Thursday blasted an investigation by a Dutch far-right party which claims to have collected some 40,000 complaints against East European immigrants on a controversial website, calling the results unscientific.

"As far as the Polish embassy is concerned, the results of this investigation are scientifically unreliable," The Hague-based embassy said in a statement, after a report in the national Algemeen Dagblad newspaper.

Almost 40,000 complaints -- mainly about drunkeness, noise and parking problems -- have been noted so far on the "Report Middle and Eastern Europeans" website, the daily tabloid said.

Set up in February, the website is the brainchild of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) and pools complaints about "nuisance" caused by migrants from countries like Poland, Romania and Bulgaria and elsewhere.

The site has angered Poland and nine other East European countries that have joined the European Union since 2004. They have protested to the Dutch government that it discriminated against their citizens.

Polish embassy spokesman Janusz Wolosz told AFP he did not want to comment on the numbers mentioned by the report, but called it "very weak and not scientifically relevant."

PVV parliamentarian Joram de Klaveren however told the AD that nearly 40,000 complaints "by concerned citizens" amounted to a huge number of people.

The PVV believed the figures showed the scope of the problem and want police to sharpen law enforcement around immigrants, he said.

"Beggars, the unemployed, homeless and drug addicts from these countries who do not fully comply with income requirements should therefore be expelled," De Klaveren told the paper.

A PVV spokeswoman declined to comment, but told AFP the facts and figures quoted by the paper were "correct".

The Polish embassy on Wednesday released its own results of a months-long sociological investigation by the Warsaw-based Institute for Public Affairs, backed by a Dutch public opinion-poll agency into Dutch perceptions of Polish migrants.

The report overwhelmingly showed a positive to neutral feeling towards Poles in the Netherlands, with local citizens seeing the eastern migrants as hard workers.

Some 350,000 East Europeans live in the Netherlands, or around two percent of the country's population of 16.6 million, according to official data.

© 2012 AFP

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