Refugee crisis a top concern for Dutch people

Asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vito Manzari). (Asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vito Manzari))

The refugee crisis is the number one concern for people in the Netherlands, according to the quarterly study by the Social and Cultural Planning Office. From end 2014, the Dutch found immigration and integration increasingly concerning. In October last year, asylum seekers and refugees shot up to the number one concern.

The researchers asked Dutch people to express their concerns in their own words. A massive 65 percent spontaneously went for the refugee crisis.

Dutch people are concerned about the large influx of asylum seekers, and about offering shelter to them. Some respondents indicated that they find it unfair that so much is given to asylum seekers, while many cutbacks were made in the Netherlands over the past years. Others are concerned about how asylum seekers are treated and the violence and aggression present in debates about them.

The study also showed that people are less positive about the direction in which the Netherlands is going. Only 25 percent of respondents indicated that they are positive about the Netherlands in the first quarter of this year, compared to 31 percent in the previous quarter. The refugee crisis was most often cited as the reason for negativity.

The Dutch populations' mood about the economy and politics remained stable, according to the study. 71 percent of respondents found the state of the economy adequate and 48 percent have confident in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. Confidence in the Dutch government dropped somewhat to 44 percent.