Mark Rutte, the liberal Dutch prime minister, made a surprising shift to the right Monday when he told immigrants to “act normal or leave” in an op-ed ahead of the general election.
Rutte and the Liberal Party (VVD) are neck and neck with Geert Wilders’ populist Freedom Party (PVV), with less than two months to go before the March 15 election. Rutte highlighted the “significance of Dutch values” in what many consider an attempt to steal voters from PVV.
“Discomfort will increase if people misuse our freedom, especially since they came to this country to enjoy those freedoms,” Rutte wrote. “I understand that people think: if you reject our country fundamentally, I’d rather see you go. I have the same feeling. Act normal or leave.”
Rutte previously ruled out forming a coalition with PVV over the party’s populist stance. Wilders took to Twitter to call out Rutte on what he says is a downright lie.
“Mark Rutte: The man of open borders, asylum tsunami, mass immigration, Islamization, lies and deceit,” Wilders tweeted.
French conservative Francois Fillon is also doubling down on migration in his bid for the presidency. Fillon rejected German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “open door” policy when the two met Monday in Berlin.
“My position is clear. France cannot accept more refugees. The right of asylum is not migration chaos,” Fillon said, according to The Telegraph.
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