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is that these developments in Germany are happening at lightning speed.

In the Netherlands, Bolkenstein made his astute commentary early nineties (and I fundamentally disagree he was anything but over-generalising, magnifying or paranoid, as testified in his 1991 keynote editorial). It was only in 2002 when the party of Pim Fortuyn maximally capitalized on the reality of a floundering multicultural society and the (global) trend of increased suspicion of everything Islam-y since 9/11. And still, this was before the bestial murder on Van Gogh, the clampdown on immigration by "Iron Lady" Rita Verdonk, and the emergence of Geert Wilders. It took more than 15 years.

Mostly it reminds of the quick rise of the Pim Fortuyn party in 2002. If Merkel really sets course on a strategy that follows the same one of the Dutch christian-democrat, JP Balkenende, it carries significant risks for political stability. Since 2002, the governments of Balkenende, and his own party the CDA, have considerably thrown up higher barriers for immigrants, which have indeed led to a decrease of the flow of immigrants. And yet here we are with Geert Wilders forming the invisible third man behind the fresh minority government. So what good did that ever do?

And let's not forget that the  enormous gain of the Pim Fortuyn Party during the 2002 elections likely created the most incoherent, unstable and moronic government the Netherlands have had, lasting not more than 83 days.

So to me, this German catch-up following a Dutch scenario is happening at a pace that may portent future political instability. Germany should be very careful what it should wish for.

by Nomad on Tue Oct 19th, 2010 at 01:53:07 PM EST

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