So what’s the official response? To worry about the flu instead.
According to NIS News Bulletin:
Cabinet: Ethnic Violence Most Real Threat
The chances of large-scale ethnic violence breaking out in the Netherlands are greater than those of a big flu epidemic. But the government nonetheless sees such a flu pandemic as a much greater risk for Dutch society.
“The outbreak of a flu pandemic forms one of the greatest risks for Dutch society. A pandemic outbreak is ‘likely’ and the consequences will be enormous. An oil crisis is also a great risk to national security,” according to a cabinet statement.
Thirdly, the cabinet warns of great flooding from the sea. This is “very unlikely” due to the protection via dunes, dikes and other water damming. But if such a really huge flooding should occur, the consequences are rated in the ‘catastrophic’ category.
In these three scenarios, Dutch society would be seriously disrupted. “Thus, there could be (many) fatalities, great economic damage, serious disruption of daily living and fear or anger among the population.”
So if ethnic violence is more likely, why not worry about it? Because the consequences won’t be very serious:
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The chances of “other threats to national security are slightly or much greater” than the chances of a flu pandemic, oil crisis or big flooding. But “the consequences are smaller” and therefore the cabinet did not wish to emphasise them. As examples here, the cabinet did name “a fierce heat wave with extreme drought, national stoppages of electricity supplies or riots by left or right-wing extremists.”
Such ethnic riots are ‘likely,’ but “depending on the circumstances, the consequences are limited to serious.” Society would not be seriously disrupted, the government predicts.
I wonder if the average “person of Dutch background”, consulted on the streets of Amsterdam or Rotterdam, would agree.
When anti-immigration sentiment finally boils over and explodes, will the results really be less serious than an influenza outbreak?
I’ll let our readers decide.
Hat tip: TB.