Populist Dutch politicians hit out at the government’s pro-migration policies as voters went to the polls on Wednesday following a suspected terror attack by a Turkish migrant.
At Tuesday evening’s final debate before provincial elections, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has heavily criticised over the previous day’s shooting by a Turkish immigrant on a tram in Utrecht, which left three people dead and several more seriously injured.
Veteran anti-Islamisation and anti-mass migration campaigner Geert Wilders accused the liberal premier along with Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) leader Sybrand Buma of crying on “crocodile tears” in response to the attack.
According to the Dutch firebrand, the open borders policies of Rutte — who has served as prime minister of the Netherlands for eight years — and his coalition partners were to blame.
“You are politically responsible,” he charged, adding that Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus needed to “pack his bags” on the basis that the suspect in Monday’s attack — reportedly a cocaine addict with a long list of criminal convictions — had recently been released from prison, where he was awaiting trial for rape.
Thierry Baudet, leader of the fast-growing, populist Forum for Democracy (FvD) was also on the attack over migration policy in the Netherlands, asserting that the government had been “naive and lax” with its open borders for many years.
Dutch police make further arrest relating to alleged involvement in Utrecht shooting https://t.co/PMoQJwIX2P
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 19, 2019
“If we don’t choose a different course on Wednesday, [events like this week’s shooting] will happen much more often,” the 36-year-old warned, adding that Somali-Dutch campaigner Ayaan Hirsi Ali had highlighted the crisis of multiculturalism “15 years ago” yet “nothing has changed on this road we are following, with hundreds of thousands of people still coming here”.
Justice minister Grapperhaus meanwhile insisted that the criminal investigation into events in Utrecht was “in full swing at the moment”, stating that authorities were “taking allegations of a terrorist motive behind the attack very seriously”.
His comments were received badly, however, by Tunahan Kuzu — the head of pro-immigrant party Denk, who last year asserted that any native Dutchman who did not want to become a minority in their own homeland should leave the country — who claimed the Justice Minister was “pouring oil on the fire” by highlighting the suspected terrorist angle to the shooting.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 14, 2016