Dutch allow Wilders' anti-Pole website, EU critical
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government refused to ban a key parliamentary ally's website inviting the public to post complaints about Poles and other east Europeans despite widespread criticism at home and abroad, including from the European Commission.
A Dutch government spokesman said the website, set up by Geert Wilders' Freedom Party was a matter for the party.
The party (PVV) gives the Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition a majority and its popularity has grown on the back of its tough stance on immigrants, notably Muslims but also from European countries, including EU members such as Poland.
The European Commission condemned the website, saying it ran against European principles of freedom of movement.
"We call on all citizens of the Netherlands not to follow this intolerance. Citizens should instead clearly state on the PVV's website that Europe is a place of freedom," EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a statement.
The Polish embassy said it has asked the Dutch authorities to review the website after Dutch government watchdog, Nationale Ombudsman, rejected the embassy's request to shut it down.
The website, called "Report central and eastern Europeans", encouraged people to post complaints about Polish, Bulgarian and other eastern European immigrants, particularly if they had lost their job to an immigrant from one of those countries.
"This mass labour immigration causes many problems: nuisance, pollution, labour market competition, and integration and housing problems," said the website, launched on Wednesday.
Janusz Wolosz, spokesman for the Polish embassy in The Hague, said that a small minority of Polish people caused trouble in the Netherlands and that they should be dealt with by the relevant authorities. Continued...