The Dutch say it with flowers for Poland

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A famous Dutch flower garden is receiving messages of gratitude from Poland, while at the same time the Central European country is angry with the Dutch government.

The reason for the anger is that the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, doesn't want to take any action against the website set up by the Freedom Party (PVV) on which Dutch citizens may register their complaints about migrants from Poland and other Central European countries. The reason is that his minority coalition depends on support from the PVV to get its policies approved in parliament.

Coincidentally 'Poland, the Heart of Europe' is this year's central theme of the Keukenhof, the internationally-renowned annual flower show in the Dutch town of Lisse. Wim van Meerfield of the Keukenhof says:

"The Netherlands has much reason to thank the tens of thousands of Polish migrant workers who work especially in the flower sector. We chose the theme two years ago, because Poland is a very important trading partner for flowers and bulbs. It's our seventh-largest export market."

Immediately after the commotion around the website broke out, the Keukenhof received strong support from Poland, because this tourist attraction shows the country and its people in a positive way. Mr Van Meerfield:

"You mustn't underestimate the Poles. They really do appreciate that the website only represents a minority opinion, and that there is a different view that we, amongst others, are presenting. We don't expect them to stay away."

According to the Polish-Dutch Chamber of Commerce, the "Poland Hotline" of the PVV is harming the image of Dutch companies in Poland. There's even talk of a boycott of Dutch products.

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