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Europe and Immigration


The rise of Pim Fortuyn alerted Europe to the phenomenon of the tolerant Dutch turning against immigration.

Fortuyn argued that intolerant Islamic influences among immigrants was a threat to Hollandís relaxed way of life.

But he appeared to go beyond that as well when he declared: "The Netherlands is full." He was shot dead just before the 15 May election in which his party did well.

Some of Fortuyn's ideas, especially a call to speed up the expulsion of immigrants without reason to stay, are expected to become part of a new government's policy.

About 10% of the population of the Netherlands has its origins abroad, with many from former Dutch colonies like Surinam.

That figures rises much higher in the cities. In Rotterdam, 45% of people have an immigrant background and in March this year, Fortuynís party won 17 of the 45 seats on the city council.

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