All Passports Are Equal…

…Except when they’re not.

We’re currently experiencing a local disturbance in the ether here in the Netherlands. After months of wrangling, we’ve finally got a new coalition government (I didn’t vote for any of them, but that’s by-the-by). However, it turns out that the new Junior Minister for Health, Marlies Veldhuizen van Zanten, holds dual nationalities, Swedish and Dutch. She was born in Gothenburg and her father is Swedish.

Cue much breast-beating over whether government ministers can hold dual nationalities. Needless to say, Geert Wilders is agin it, what a surprise. But then it appears that this issue is giving ample rein to our new Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to demonstrate his shortcomings. 

He’s on record as stating that a minister in the last government should have given up her second nationality, but now he’s backtracking and saying that it is not a problem for van Zanten.

And he’s now opened his mouth to change feet by saying that the reason is that a Swedish passport is not the same as a Turkish passport. Quite honestly, the man appears to be a hostage to fortune, No wonder that Wilders is loving every minute of it. By the way, I wonder if Wilders’ wife still holds her Hungarian passport?

As someone who wants to continue to hold both Dutch and British nationalities, I obviously have some skin in the game, but frankly, the presumption that because someone holds dual nationalities that they are obviously suspect is beyond contempt.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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