Romanian president slams Netherlands again

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Romanian President Traian Basescu has once again fiercely criticised the Netherlands.

At a conference celebrating the fifth anniversary of Romania’s accession to the European Union, he accused the Dutch government of “abuse” and claimed it was blocking Romanian and Bulgarian membership of the passport-free Schengen Zone on false pretences.

He repeated an earlier accusation that the Dutch government is being held to ransom by Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party and said he was “concerned that anti-European parties are taking part in governments”.

Schengen membership
The Netherlands argues that Romania and Bulgaria are not doing enough to tackle corruption and organised crime. Immigration, Integration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers said their membership could not be supported until that situation improves.

Denmark, which currently occupies the rotating EU presidency, has called on the Netherlands to abandon its opposition. It says there are no grounds for objecting to Schengen membership for the two East European countries.

(imm/hs)

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