September 29, 2010
Next Monday October 4 we will know, if a new Dutch Government composed of Conservative Liberals (VVD) and Christian Democrats (CDA), passively supported by the Islamophobe PVV contraption of Mr. Geert Wilders, will ask for confidence in the Dutch Parliament.
If all turns out well for Mr. Mark Rutte, the VVD party leader and Prime Minister hopeful, he will get 76 out of 150 votes. Or 78, if the fundamentalist protestant misogynist party SGP will join the celebration of a Government, that, as Mr. Rutte stated some weeks ago, “will make Right Wing Holland Lick their Fingers”.
A most remarkable development that lead to this strange coalition and rupture in the Dutch tradition of moderation and tolerance, is the turnabout of the CDA Christian Democrats. As late as last June, their new party leader, acting Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, declared solemnly in Parliament that he would “never” negotiate with Mr. Wilders about abandoning Dutch constitutional provisions for equal treatment of citizens and freedom of opinion and religion.
“Never” lasted no more than two weeks. On the 10th of July Mrs Rutte, Verhagen and Wilders announced that they had reached an agreement about a new Government, to be composed of VVD- and CDA-ministers and supported by the PVV (without participation), agreeing to disagree about Mr Wilders’ appreciation of the Islam religion. And announcing that they would look for common ground satisfying Mr Wilders’ ideas about discrimination of immigrants from “non-Western” countries and the need for budget restrictions. Exactly the “market”, Mr Verhagen had so recently refuted!
After 100 days of negotiations, September 27 the three party leaders concluded an agreement on a Government program and a “Tolerance Covenant”. The texts are still unpublished, but the liberal Dutch daily NRC-Handelsblad found some information about the anti-immigration measures Mr Wilders made his counterparts to consider.
The following is a resume of the NRC article by DutchNews.nl:
Wednesday 29 September 2010
The three parties on the verge of forming the Netherlands’ next government asked civil servants to investigate a number of far-reaching measures to curb immigration during the negotiation process, the NRC reports on Wednesday.
The aim of the measures was to ‘discourage immigration and, once in the Netherlands, slow down the build-up of rights’, the paper says.
The paper bases its claims on talks with civil servants and coalition negotiation documents, it says. The right-wing VVD and anti-Islam PVV were behind most of the requests, the paper said.
For example, civil servants were asked to look at the idea of refusing to grant residency permits to non-married partners or to people who did not have a ‘strong economic and social connection’ to the Netherlands. Stopping children over the age of 15 from joining their parents was another option.
It is not yet known what measures the new government plans to adopt but it is clear immigration faces new curbs, the paper said.
In terms of asylum policy, the parties discussed prioritising cases involving families with children. This is because the longer their cases take, the more likely they are to get a permit in the interests of the child, the paper said.
I think that it will have been difficult for the civil servants to find new restrictions on immigration. As shown in the following statistic, most immigration into the The Netherlands in the year 2009, was not of “non-Western” origin. Existing restrictive regulations resulted already in a 50% refusal of entry for political refugees and family recomposition. International UN and European regulations forbid most of the Wilders inspired restrictions that were under consideration.
Anyhow, the numbers concerned are very low. For 2009, immigration requests from “Muslim countries” total not more than 10.000 out of 146.378. That doesn’t take away the shame-inspiring discrimination that is under review. Any child, that is sent back to a dangerous environment in for instance Iraq, ironically mostly of non-Muslim family, is one too many.
But the greatest, the deepest shame should befall the Liberals and Christian-democrats if they agree to this cynical trade-in of right-wing hobbies against discrimination of the weakest and unprotected.Huib Riethof