De Jong attacks governing Christian Democrats' views on labour migration

30 May 2009

De Jong attacks governing Christian Democrats' views on labour migration

“Totally a-social" was SP number one candidate Dennis de Jong's description of the statement on labour migration by Wim van de Camp of the Christian Democrat CDA. Van de Camp's statement came during a debate between leading candidates which took place last Thursday in Leiden. Van de Camp described himself as "hesitant" about labour migration, but had no problem in wanting to attract workers in cases where firms had need of them. De Jong replied that "We bring people here when we need them, but treat developing countries badly by dumping our food surpluses on them." This policy, he said, leads to ruinous competition for farmers in Africa.

Dennis de JongMigration was one of the major themes of Thursday's debate. Most of the parties were supporters of the EU's ‘Blue Card’ scheme, which would allow skilled and educated migrants easier access to Europe. “The SP is totally opposed to this," said De Jong. "On the one hand it would discourage European countries from investing in education and training for unemployed people. On the other hand we would be depriving developing countries of the few educated people which their limited budgets allow them to produce. This ‘brain drain’ must be resisted, not encouraged."

The Labour Party (PvdA) describes itself as a supporter of the ‘blue card’, provided it does not lead to such a ‘brain drain.’ De Jong finds this incomprehensible. "It's as if I was to say, I'd like to take a shower, provided I won't get wet. How do you keep tabs on whether there is a brain drain or not? We must do our best to ensure that people in developing countries can find work and thus contribute to the building of their countries. That should be our top priority."

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