Peaceful multicultural societies don't exist, Dutch FM says

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Stef Blok (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). Stef Blok (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

There are no peaceful multicultural societies and it is genetically determined that man can not connect with "unknown people", Minister Stef Blok (VVD) of Foreign Affairs said during a private meeting with Dutch who work for international organizations last week Tuesday, which current affairs program Zembla has footage of. 

"Give me an example of a multi-ethnic or multicultural society where the original population still lives (...) and where there is a peaceful society. I don't know of one", he said. According to the Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister, every society has boundaries when it comes to taking in immigrants. He called it "very nice" to have a Turkish baker around the corner, but added that there can be "some side effects". "If you live in the middle of it, you will suffer enormously." 

Blok also said that it is genetically determined that groups of people can not get along with each other. "It's probably somewhere deep in our genes that we want to have a well-organized group to hunt with or to maintain a village with. And that we are not able to connect with people unknown to us."

One of the other meeting attendees noted that Suriname is an example of a peaceful multicultural society. But Blok responded that Suriname is a failed state, partly because its political parties are divided along ethnic lines. Singapore is also not a good example, according to Blok. "Singapore is indeed a mini-country, extremely selective in its migration (...) They do not allow poor migrants. Yes, eventually, possibly for cleaning", he said.

Dutch parliamentarians are shocked by these statements.

SP MP Sadet Karabulut called Blok's statements unworthy of a Minister of Foreign Affairs. "Does this Minister seriously get no further than that xenophobia is in the nature of people? That we can't live together and therefore a better world is impossible?" he said to NU.nl. Karabulut demands that the Minister retract these statements.

PvdA parliamentarian, and former Minister of Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, called Blok's remarks "very unprofessional". "I have been living in Amsterdam Nieuw-West for 20 years, where different people of different origins are making the best of each other. And if there are problems, you have to discuss them." She submitted parliamentary questions about this, asking whether statements regarding Suriname and Singapore are the Rutte III government's policy. 

In a response to Zembla, Blok said that his statements in the public debate "may seem unfortunate". 

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