(Bloomberg) — Foreign workers and global ties are key to the Netherlands’ economic success, the nation’s central bank chief warned, as anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders tries to form the next government after his election victory.
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“The Dutch economy profits more than any other country from European and international integration,” Governor Klaas Knot said in an interview on Dutch state broadcaster NPO1 on Sunday. “That is our chicken that lays golden eggs and we should not butcher it.”
Knot’s comments come after Wilders’ Freedom Party delivered a shock election victory on Nov. 22, picking up more seats than any of the polls had predicted.
Wilders is currently negotiating with three other parties to form a right-wing government as the country’s next prime minister. While the potential coalition members are likely to reach an agreement over a crackdown on migration, topics including aid to Ukraine, cooperation with the European Union and climate policies may complicate their talks.
“For the growth of our economy we depend on productivity growth,” Knot told the Buitenhof TV show. “That won’t come from the Dutch working population. In certain places, we will need migrants and definitely highly-skilled migrants.”
Companies like chip-machine maker ASML Holding NV, which has become Europe’s most valuable tech company, have a “more than average contribution to our prosperity,” Knot said. “A company like ASML cannot be solely depend on Dutch labor.”
Veldhoven-based ASML, which relies heavily on foreign talent, has voiced similar warnings, calling for a “reliable government” after Wilders’ victory.
“Any restrictions on the amount of knowledge workers or international students relevant for our industry are undesirable,” ASML spokeswoman Monique Mols told Bloomberg in November.
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