Wetenschap - 11 april 2002

LS: Intolerable misfortune or over-tolerable fortune

LS: Intolerable misfortune or over-tolerable fortune

Having spent over one year here in the Netherlands, I would like to respond to David Lee Hopkins with his sharp comments on the country. I am not sure, but absolutely sure about his comments. However, let's try to have a look from the other side.

Being in Amsterdam for almost a year, I've realised, that a lot of foreigners and refugees do not want to work and learn Dutch, they just get money doing nothing. Quite often you can meet guys with several children (hungry and crying), who buy drinks and food for themselves, not for the children. They really do nothing, while getting money from the Dutch government for their children. The money sometimes exceeds the salary of people, who work and produce goods. It's OK, according to Dutch system. I don't like it.

It's extremely difficult really to integrate into society here, I agree, but then you should learn language. My refugee friends do not want to do so, again just taking the money for language courses. Some of them have been living in the country for over 5 years, without any Dutch, sometimes no English and no job, a lot of relaxing. I don't think it's reasonable.

Again I agree about a lot of negatives in the Netherlands (hope to stay alive after publishing them). But the country offers opportunities. Why not to use them all?

I very likely will leave the country for better research opportunities (a pity that Holland does not always have money for reasonable research) but I still like the country and the people, while seeing extreme negatives. I'm absolutely PC (politically correct - ed.), though evaluate people according to their work and results, not race affiliation. Besides, China has the best mathematical education in the world and US citizens from Asia beat WASPs in IQ tests. Just try to deposit for the country where you live.

Vadim Volkov