Skip to Content

Stef Blok, Dutch Foreign Minister. Wikipedia
The Hague

Dutch Foreign Minister faces storm after denouncing multiculturalism

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok is facing a storm over his comments about the failure of multicultural societies. Several lawmakers called on the foreign minister to explain himself.

Published: July 23, 2018, 11:15 am

    At a recent gathering of Dutch employees of international organisations in The Hague, Blok said that diversity breeds conflict. Blok’s comments were aired on the Dutch television program Zembla on Wednesday.

    “Give me an example of a multiethnic, multicultural society, where the indigenous population still live … where they live in a peaceful, societal union,” Blok said, according to Reuters. “I don’t know of any.”“

    Blok continued: “Walk along any street in Warsaw or Prague. There are no colored people. These people are gone within a week, they get beaten to a pulp. They have no life there. I don’t think we are going to manage to force through an agreement at a central European level that every country will take the same number of refugees. Eastern Europeans will never agree.”

    According to the minister it may be fun to visit a “Turkish bakery on Sunday” if you live in a rich neighbourhood, but a “number of side effects” stand out in a migrant-populated area. “You very quickly reach the limits of what a society can take,” Blok said.

    The audience cited Suriname, a former Dutch colony, as an “example” of peaceful coexistence, but Blok contradicted them. “I admire your optimism, but Suriname is a failed state and that is very much linked to its ethnic composition,” Blok replied.

    He added that human beings “somewhere deep in our genes” want “a defined group” even if such defined groups are not obvious from an outside perspective. “I can’t see the difference between a Hutu and a Tutsi, nor between a Sunni or a Shiite,” he said. “Unfortunately, they can.”

    Suriname, in South America, is a mix of the descendants of Asian indentured workers, African slaves and indigenous peoples, according to Reuters. The country gained its independence from the Dutch in 1975.

    Robby Makka, Dutch economic analyst and Surinamese, says Suriname is rather a failed government. “The state has not failed, because Suriname is indeed a constitutional state.”

    But because of this “failed government”, the economy is a mess under the rule of Desi Bouterse, says Makka. Bouterse however was democratically elected.

    “One big mess, numbers do not add up.” According to Makka, the economy is constantly being “crushed” by Bouterse and his government. Makka fears that the economic situation in the country is worse than most think. “There is a huge debt mountain, and no good relationships between economic institutions.

    The governance situation in Suriname, is not much better, Makka believes. “There is no administrative vision, and if there is, they make a mess of it.” In addition, according to Makka, most of the appointments stem from nepotism.

    Political indignation followed Blok’s assertions. Labour MPs now calling for parliament to be recalled for a debate.

    “The job of a foreign minister is to maintain diplomatic relations,” Kees Verhoeven, a member of the house of representatives, claimed in an open letter, denouncing the comments as “incomprehensible”.

    The Financieele Dagblad said Blok’s words contradict the position taken on the government’s own website to promote foreign trade. “As one of the world’s most multicultural hubs for creative talent, Holland is, simply put, a great place to bring ideas to life,” the website for the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency states, before going on to praise the “exceptional quality of life”.

    In the Volkskrant, former VVD parliamentarian Arend Jan Boekesteijn argues damage has been done by Blok to the Netherlands and its image abroad. “Blok would appear to have embraced the integration pessimism of the PVV,” Boekesteijn said.

    The Dutch employers organisation VNO-NCW declined to comment on the potential impact of Blok’s words. This, some complained, is in sharp contrast to words by the previous VNO-NCW chief who was quick to condemn statements by PVV leader Geert Wilders because of the alleged “damage” they could do to the image of the Netherlands abroad.

    Blok has meanwhile refused to apologise. When asked, he told Zembla: “My contribution during the question and answer session of the meeting was aimed in part at sparking a reaction from the audience. During the closed meeting, I used illustrations that could come across as badly chosen in public debate.”

    The government of Curaçao has meanwhile issued a statement distancing itself from the comments, since Blok also speaks on behalf of the Caribbean part of the Netherlands. “The government cannot accept in any way these comments which strike at the very heart of the multicultural Curaçao society,” the statement said. “It is our diversity which makes us powerful.”

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • Otto

      In what way is Minister Stef Blok wrong? Surely if he is, there must be many examples to prove him wrong?

    Europe

    UK: Another 30 Muslim men charged with rape and trafficking

    Police have charged 31 Muslim men with offences including rape and trafficking after an investigation into sexual offences against children in the Huddersfield area.

    Is a Swexit on the cards for Sweden?

    StockholmThe leader of the Swedish Democrats, Jimmy Åkesson has again called for a referendum on Sweden's exit from the EU.

    Masked gangs go on a rampage in Sweden

    Swedish police reported multiple gangs of masked youths on a rampage across five major Swedish towns, burning cars in what seems like a coordinated action.

    Spat between Italy and UK intensifies over migrant taxi

    The diplomatic spat between Italy and Britain over 141 migrants currently on board a Gibraltar-flagged vessel has taken a new turn after Italy demanded that Britain take in the migrants.

    PVV member tells of gang rape by Muslims to silence her before suicide

    The HagueA city councillor in The Hague and member of Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, took her own life on Wednesday after posting a video on Facebook describing her gang-rape by Muslims.

    No Christians from Syria resettled by Britain

    The British Government recently appointed its first Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief. But the Special Envoy has done very little for Christians.

    Spain opens its borders even wider

    MadridSpain's socialist government, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, has promised free healthcare to migrants and has pledged to investigate every asylum claim individually.

    Neocon US senators push sanctions bill ‘from hell’ against Russia

    WashingtonA US bill was introduced in the Senate on Thursday, widely described as a new set of "crushing" sanctions against Russia. The proposed legislation includes a State Department assessment aimed at designating Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism".

    Banner against illegals end in ‘hate speech’ charges

    LyonA banner displayed during a pro-migrant march in Lyon resulted in the convocation to the police station of three participants including a prominent conservative politician of Marine Le Pen's party, Muriel Coativy.

    Three arrested in France on charges of ‘conspiring to fight Islamist danger’

    ParisTwo men and one woman were indicted on Friday, July 27, for "terrorist criminal conspiracy" as part of the investigation into the activities of the French AFO group. They are believed to have wanted to fight "against the Islamist danger".

    Go to archive