EU call on Dutch to explain Pole-bashing

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The European Parliament has called on Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to account for the anti-Polish website set up by the Freedom Party which supports his government.

The parliament will debate the Dutch website, which invites complaints about Central and East European immigrants, on 13 March. 

Christian Democrat MEP Wim van de Camp told BNR Radio that the European parliament is irritated about Mr Rutte's formal position that it is not for the prime minister to comment on the initiative of a political party.

The Freedom Party, led by anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders, opened the website as a platform for 'complaints about people from Middle or Eastern Europe' in the Netherlands. Complaints concerning alcohol abuse, illegal hostels or benefit fraud, MEP Van de Camp said, can be dealt with by the police and the public prosecutor. "You don't need a stigmatising website for that," he added.

French MEP Joseph Daul said it was reckless to encourage hatred and discrimination against fellow Europeans.

Unlike the parliament, the European Commission has not yet reacted to the complaints voiced by ten central and eastern EU member states. A number of commissioners have spoken out individually, hovever, including Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, who called the website "a ridiculous idea". Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said on twitter that the European Commission was "concerned" about the Freedom Party website.

(rk)

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