Dutch Courage?

Looks like I got here after the party:

Frans Buysse, the head of Buysse Immigration Consultancy, said he received more than 13,000 hits on his emigration website in November, four times the usual level. His office in Culemburg is flooded with fresh applications.

“[Theo] Van Gogh’s death was a confirmation for them of what they already sensed was happening,” he said. “They’re accountants, teachers, nurses, businessmen and bricklayers, from all walks of life. They see things going on every day in this country that are quite unbelievable. They see no clear message from the government, and they are afraid it’s becoming irreversible, that’s why they are leaving.”

Yesterday, during separate conversations with an economic development representative and a pharma executives, I tried to politely broach the issue of Muslim immigration in the Netherlands. Turns out that I didn’t need to be polite. Both people, who have vested interests in portraying this country as stable and worthy of foreign investment and partnerships, said that the Netherlands has serious problems that stem from the lack of assimilation by Muslim immigrants.

In addition, one contended that the welfare state has left businesses here lazy, and removed much incentive for entrepreneurs. “Scientists here, they’re content to stay in the academy and count how many papers they publish. They have no interest in starting businesses, like they do in America.”

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