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Bulgaria abroad

Bulgarian community protests in The Hague against PVV website

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Tue, Feb 21 2012 2668 Views
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Bulgarian nationals residing in the Netherlands staged a protest on Febuary 21 against the website created by Dutch far-right Freedom Party (PVV), which calls on visitors to lodge complaints against immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe.

The rally, announced on February 14, was expected to gather Bulgarian students and workers in front of the Dutch parliament in The Hague, Bulgarian National Television reported.

The website, which the party called the "Central and Eastern European hotline", has been criticised by European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who described it as an "affront to universal and EU values". MEPs is to hold a debate on the issue on March 13.

Viviane Reding, the European Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship commissioner, called the site "an open call for intolerance".

The heads of 10 missions in Central and Eastern Europe, including the charge d’affaires of the Bulgarian embassy in The Hague, have voiced their protest against the website.

Employer associations in the Netherlands have also lambasted the website, saying it was xenophobic. A report by Radio Netherlands said that many East Europeans did jobs that Dutch people are no longer willing to do, such as in the market gardening industry in the west of the Netherlands. It has also recently been shown that workers from Eastern Europe contribute to the Dutch economy; one report claimed Polish workers alone pay more than one billion euro in taxes, Radio Netherlands said.

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