Wilders wants Integration Minister charged
The Radio Netherlands News, October 5, 2009
Geert Wilders hopes to use an archaic law to bring charges against Integration Minister Eberhard van der Laan for failing to answer questions on immigration.
Wilders Freedom Party (PVV) asked the Integration Minister Eberhard van der Laan to calculate the cost to the Netherlands of immigrants per individual. Ministers are constitutionally obliged to honour MPs requests for information and Van der Laan promised to provide answers for Wilders.
The minister duly provided the Freedom Party with 30 pages of raw data but refused to translate the information into the kind of cost-benefit analysis the Freedom Party wanted. 'We do not keep accounts on the value of human beings,' he stated.
Speaking on Dutch breakfast television on Monday, Wilders said that five Freedom Party MPs have now written to the speaker of the Lower House calling for an investigation. The Freedom Party wants charges brought against the integration minister based on legislation dating from 1855, which says that ministers have to abide by the constitution and provide information.
Forum, the Institute for Multicultural Development, meanwhile commissioned its own study on the cost of immigration last month from economist Peter Nijkamp at the Free University in Amsterdam, in an attempt to take the wind out of the Freedom Partys sails. Nijkamp said he was amazed such data should be seen as taboo.