Wednesday, March 02, 2005

White Flight from ... The Netherlands?

Due to low birthrates, Europe has opened up to immigration. Most of these immigrants come from the surrounding poorer countries of Northern Africa and the Middle East. This is causing the percentage of Europeans who are Muslim is growing rapidly. While America worries about Islam in terms of terrorism, Europe has much different issues. Interesting article about how the well off in the Netherlands are emigrating to other countries.

This small nation is a magnet for immigrants, but statistics suggest there is a quickening flight of the white middle class. Dutch people pulling up roots said they felt a general pessimism about their small and crowded country and about the social tensions that had grown along with the waves of newcomers, most of them Muslims.

There is more than the concern about the rising complications of absorbing newcomers, now one-tenth of the population. Many Dutch also seem bewildered that their country, run for decades on a cozy political consensus, seems so tense and prickly and bent on confrontation.

Those leaving have been mostly lured by English-speaking nations such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, where they said they hope to feel less constricted

To Hiltemann, the emigration consultant, what is remarkable is the type of Dutch people leaving. "They are successful people, I mean, urban professionals, managers, physiotherapists, computer specialists," he said.

What is new," he said, "is that Dutch people who are rich or at least very comfortable are now wanting to leave the country."
via Seattle Times

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