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De Groene Amsterdammer - Netherlands | Thursday, February 17, 2011

Henk A. Hofland warns of inactivity regarding Arab world

After the fall of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents protests have also mounted against authoritarian governments in other Arab countries. The West must no longer remain passive, warns columnist Henk A. Hofland in the left-wing weekly De Groene Amsterdammer: "If the uprisings in the Arab World spread to other countries and the West holds rigidly to its crippling perplexed attitude, we will soon face another development. A nation in upheaval is economically unproductive and more or less chaotic in organisational terms, with the result that its population becomes increasingly poor. ... Those with the best prospects are the first to flee. Tunisia has now reached this stage, and the first waves of refugees are now reaching the Italian islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa. Is this just the beginning? ... In our part of the world the aversion to Muslim and Arab foreigners has grown and become emancipated in the past ten years. Not only here, but also in Belgium, France and Germany. The Arab revolutions now taking shape stand to greatly influence European society."

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