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Euro-MPs urge Dutch PM to speak up on anti-migrant site

16 February 2012, 18:27 CET
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(STRASBOURG) - The European Parliament called on the Dutch prime minister on Thursday to come and explain his "deafening silence" on a far right website allowing people to complain against east European immigrants.

The parliament, at the request of the conservative group, will debate the anti-immigrant website created by the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) at its next plenary session on March 13.

"We especially call on the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to declare the position of his government on this issue and come before the European Parliament to explain his deafening silence on this issue," said Joseph Daul, chairman of the European People's Party, the parliament's biggest bloc.

The PVV backs the coalition government led by Rutte. The ambassadors of 10 eastern and central European nations have written to the Dutch government urging Rutte to condemn the website, but he has not done so.

"I am angered that anyone could attack fellow Europeans," Daul said. "It is against all European and indeed human values to attack a group of people in this way. It is reckless to encourage hate and discrimination."

In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Rutte, who has declined to condemn the website, told reporters he was set to meet European Parliament President Martin Schulz during the next European Council meeting on March 1.

"I am of course willing ... to address the issue" if Schulz wishes to do so, the Prime Minister said while repeating previous remarks that the website belonged to a political party and not the Dutch government.

The Freedom Party, whose anti-Islamist leader Geert Wilders was acquitted of hate speech last year, last week launched the site entitled "Report Middle and Eastern Europeans".

Respondents can tick "yes" or "no" when asked whether they have experienced "nuisances" such as loud noise, parking, drunkenness, squalor or the loss of jobs to migrant workers from eastern European countries.

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