Re: MD terrorist blackmail

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Thu Dec 16 2004 - 07:19:27 GMT

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    Dear Platt,

    You asked 13 Dec 2004 07:52:49 -0500 for my comments on an article by
    ambrose Evans Pritchard in the Telegraph about 'the Dutch middle classes ...
    leaving the country in droves for the first time in living memory'.

    The only half-truth I read in that article (or the part you quoted) was that
    'more people left the Netherlands in 2003 than arrived'. According to the
    official statistics the Volkskrant published yesterday, immigration and
    emigration were roughly equal in 2003. In 2004 there will be an emigration
    surplus of 18.000 people. The last time the Netherlands had such an
    emigration surplus was in the 1950-ties.
    On a total of 111.000 emigrants there will certainly be a percentage for
    whom part of their motives can be interpreted as dissatisfaction with the
    Dutch 'multicultural experiment'. Dutch statisticians explain the temporary
    disbalance from the weak economy (unemployed migrants returning to their
    country of origin) and from increasing numbers of retired Dutch who can
    afford to spend their old age in a more attractive climate (e.g. Spain) and
    find less and less obstactles on their way because of EU integration. Their
    prognosis is that emigration and immigration will balance again in 2010,
    with a slow rise to an immigration suplus of some 25.000 per year in 2050.
    So you could compare it partly with population movements between different
    states of the USA.

    On the whole this picture seems quite healthy to me for the most densily
    populated country of Europe (population will rise to a maximum of 17 million
    in 2035, life expectancy will be 82,5 years for women and 79,5 years for men
    in 2050) which has to counter the 'greying' of the population (25% 65+ in
    2040, now 14%) with relatively young immigrants who get more children during
    the first generations before they are integrated. Some 120.000 immigrants
    per year (the average for 2010 - 2050 the statisticians expect) can be
    easily accomodated on a population of 17 million and integrated in a few
    generations time. By 2050 non-Western ex-immigrants are expected to comprise
    17% of the population with an additional 13% consisting of ex-immigrants of
    Western origin.
    The picture for me is: Western European population is mixing (because of EU
    integration) and in periods of strong economic growth immigrants from North
    Africa and Middle East are attracted. As I wrote before the Dutch have never
    been 'a tight-knit Nordic tribe'. We have always been to open because of
    international trade (a third of our GNP) and the importance of foreign
    language education in Dutch schools. The only society I know that comes
    close to that description is Iceland.

    There has been some talk in the media in the last weeks (after the
    assassination of Theo van Gogh) about increased interest for emigration
    (registered by embassies of countries like Canada and Australia. It is
    unlikely that such temporary sentiments will have more than a marginal
    effect on emigation statistics of a whole year. In the end emigration and
    immigration streams are determined more by economic perspectives and by the
    dire need of people fleeing war than by the level of satisfaction with
    particular societies (or any other conscious motivation).
    A last quote from the expectations of official Dutch statisticians: 'from
    2010 onward non-Western immigration will grow again and especially the Asian
    part. Immigration will be mainly "demand pulled" to fill jobs becoming
    vacant in a greying society, but the Asian part will be mainly formed by
    Iraqis and Afghans, although increasingly Indians will be recruited by Dutch
    firms. From within the EU Poles will be an increasing percentage of

    The idea voices by Ellen Bles in the quote from the Telegraph that 'People
    can come and live here illegally and get payments' is simply not true. They
    can get free medical aid if really necessary, but even that has been made
    more and more difficult in recent years, because everyone asking for any
    public service has to give a personal registration number with tax
    authorities and population registration authorities (the number in my
    passport is the same as the one on my tax form). It might have been true to
    some extent say 20 years ago (and the myth is kept alive among right-wing
    voters who want non-Western immigration even further curtailed and social
    security to become less), but only because computer systems were not
    advanced enough back then to check all those files of all public authorities
    against each other to determine whether everyone profiting from social
    security benefits really had a right to them.

    I would still appreciate to get your comments on my 13 Dec 2004 12:17:47
    +0100 posting and return to our controversy whether globalizing social
    security would be a proper way to counter terrorism versus would imply
    giving in to terrorist blackmail.

    With friendly greetings,


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