No question yet about cost of far-right

Published on 11 September 2009 at 14:17
Trouw, 11 September, 2009

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“How much does an immigrant cost?” That was the question officially put to the Dutch government this past 22 July by Geert Wilders’ right-wing party (the PVV, Party for Freedom). On Thursday, 10 September, the government hazarded a reply: “We don’t keep accounts on the economic value of human beings,” integration minister Eberhard Van der Laan explained to the Dutch daily Trouw, declining to answer the question for fear the xenophobes would use the figures as an argument for deporting Muslims. Even if the other parties find the PVV’s queries “ignoble and reprehensible”, the PVV is entitled, they feel, to a more precise answer from the government. So the minister says he is now prepared to tally up the effects of immigration policy, but not to calculate the “cost” of individuals. For the PVV, this false answer is proof positive that the taxpayer is forced to pay the price of mass immigration in euros and cents.

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