Dutch divided over Wilders at Ground Zero

11th September 2010, Comments 0 comments


Twenty percent of the Dutch population approve of far-right politician Geert Wilders' speaking at today's 9/11 ceremonies in New York, according to a national survey. Around 41 percent are neutral and 39 percent disapprove.

The findings are part of an annual survey into attitudes towards terrorism conducted by Maurice de Hond since 2002, the year after the 11 September attacks of 2001.

This year's poll also included a question regarding the planned construction of an Islamic centre near Ground Zero. Nearly half of those questioned are against, 15 percent are in favour with 35 percent being neutral.

Close to 40 percent of those interviewed say they fear the Netherlands will be hit by a terrorist attack in the near future. In 2008 and 2009 only 27 percent had such fears. Most of those interviewed think protection against terrorist attacks has improved since 11 September 2001.

Mr De Hond says left-wing and right-wing voters are divided more about Mr Wilders than about socio-economic issues. Most of his own PVV voters as well as right-wing VVD voters agree with Mr Wilders. Most of those voting for the liberal D66, Labour, Green Left and the Socialist Party oppose his views. Christian Democrats tend to be equally divided.

For his surveys, Mr De Hond's bureau approaches at least 2,500 people from a larger sample of 40,000 who at some point signed up for his polls.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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