Thursday, February 22, 2007

The appointment of two Muslim politicians to the new Dutch cabinet has reawakened a row in the country over dual nationality

Geraldine Coughlan:

Nebahat Albayrak and Ahmed Aboutaleb are both Dutch passport holders, but also have Turkish and Moroccan passports respectively.

Right-wing opposition parties want to see an end to dual nationality.

The row has led to a call for Princess Maxima, the wife of the Crown Prince, to give up her Argentine nationality.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, from Morocco, is to be the State Secretary for Social Affairs in the new cabinet.

Nebahat Albayrak is Turkish and she will become the State Secretary for Justice.

They are the first Muslims to reach the heart of Dutch politics.

The opposition right-wing Freedom Party has objected to the new centrist government being allowed to have members with dual nationality.

The outgoing right-wing Integration Minister, Rita Verdonk, said Princess Maxima, who is married to the heir to the Dutch throne, Prince Willem Alexander, should give up her Argentine passport.

Opinion polls show the row over dual nationality has lowered the popularity of the new government.

Dutch Cabinet Gets Its First Muslims


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