The Netherlands is spearheading a campaign to grant visa-free access to Europe for SAR passport holders. Consul-General Jochum Haakma said it was 'pretty ridiculous' that the SAR document did not yet enjoy the same privilege in Europe that had so far been granted by around 46 other countries, including Britain and Ireland. 'The fear in many European countries after the handover was that 1.2 billion illegal immigrants from China could flood in,' he said. 'There is an enormous misconception that Hong Kong is now in China. 'People can't accept it is still very difficult for Chinese people to cross the border into Hong Kong. The SAR has one of the tightest borders in the world.' The Dutch stance on the issue follows a visit to Hong Kong by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. 'He saw the border situation with his own eyes and left firmly in favour of advocating visa-free entry for the SAR passport,' Mr Haakma said. It had been explained to the minister that more than 20 'securities' were built into the system to prevent a flood of immigrants. 'These were more than enough for all the countries that have already granted visa-free access,' Mr Haakma said. 'The Netherlands is now taking the lead in Europe on the issue, which is very important for Hong Kong. We hope it will eventually work out.'