Not at all xenophobic? The Netherlands 2017

A recent study published by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) shows that the Dutch are far less right-wing populistic and xenophobic than generally assumed. Dutch commentators are delighted at the findings - and raise the critical question of whether the media and politicians are refusing to acknowledge the reality of the situation.

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De Volkskrant (NL) /

Media convey a distorted image

De Volkskrant is relieved at the report's findings:

“In fact reality can be rosier than the image the media like to paint - and not just the social media of course. ... The Institute for Social Research speaks very cautiously of a 'mildly positive trend regarding acceptance of migrants'. ... But the media has almost entirely missed out on it. ... Once they've read the report, the experts, 'social warriors' and those who set the tone may fall back on their old positions and go on fighting the 'good' fight. The rest of us, however, have every reason to see these statistics as a hopeful sign.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Angry citizens suited politicians just fine

The politicians need to acknowledge the study's findings and respond to them, NRC Handelsblad demands:

“The supposed angry mood among citizens who fear that their culture will be drowned by the flood of foreigners was taken up and exploited by the established political parties. ... Take a look at the coalition agreement: restraint vis-à-vis Europe, harsh words on asylum policy and many pseudo-patriotic avowals on the subjects of the flag and traditional folk song. And anyone who dared to doubt this claustrophobic version of the status quo belonged to the elite and was certainly no 'normal Dutch person'. ... It's time for the public and the politicians to face the facts with cool objectiveness in 2018.”