LPF cries foul as Wilders unveils policies
14 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Independent right-wing MP Geert Wilders has unveiled an election programme said to be "plagiarised" from Pim Fortuyn. In it, Wilders calls for general tax cuts, a reduction in bureaucracy, improved safety and a significant cut in immigration.
14 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — Independent right-wing MP Geert Wilders has unveiled an election programme said to be "plagiarised" from Pim Fortuyn. In it, Wilders calls for general tax cuts, a reduction in bureaucracy, improved safety and a significant cut in immigration.
Announcing his intention to run at the 2007 election, Wilders said he was "independent" of the "self-satisfied political elite who lost their way long ago and are at the point of saying farewell to age-old Dutch roots in exchange for multiculturalism, culture relativism and a European super state".
Wilders — whose party (www.geertwilders.nl) stands to win four seats in Parliament if an election was held now — said he was in favour of a smaller government. This means reduced regulations, tax cuts and cuts to social security to prevent the collapse of the economy.
He called for billions of euros in cuts to the overseas development budget — retaining only emergency aid — abolition of the Education and Economic Affairs ministries and reducing the public service by 50 percent. Child allowance payments should also be reduced.
Wilders claimed that scrapping minimum wage laws and liberalising redundancy legislation would lead to greater employment, news service NOS reported on Monday.
Designed primarily to prevent marriage and family unification migration, he urged for Dutch borders to be closed for five years to non-western immigrants. No more asylum seekers should be allowed to enter the country.
Focusing on integration, Wilders said the present non-committal integration policy should be scrapped. Instead, those who do no integrate adequately and do not have Dutch citizenship should be forced out of the country immediately. Islamic schools should also be abolished, he said.
Islamic veils should be banned during public functions, Wilders said, adding that an immigrant must not have committed a crime for 10 years to qualify for Dutch citizenship. Up until that time, immigrants may not claim social security and voting rights for all non-Dutch nationals at council elections should be abolished.
He also said the Netherlands should reduce its financial contributions to the European Union by 90 percent and block any move to expand the current euro-zone. Otherwise, he said the Netherlands should consider re-introducing the guilder, newspaper De Volkskrant quoted from Wilders' election manifesto.
One of the MP's main themes is safety and he said anyone convicted of three violent offences should be jailed for life. He also called for rehabilitation camps, expansion of random search areas to the entire country and a large increase in the number of police officers.
The Netherlands Antilles — a former Dutch colony — should be expelled from the Kingdom of the Netherlands due to the "danger" of drugs criminality, corruption and the bureaucratic powerlessness of the Caribbean islands, he said.
But populist LPF MP Mat Herben said Wilders' policies were largely copied from Pim Fortuyn, claiming also that much of them had already been put into action. He said expelling the five islands of the Antilles was an absurd idea.
Prior to his assassination in May 2002, Fortuyn controversially called for a ban on immigration, a massive shake-up of bureaucracy and improved safety. He established the populist LPF to contest the 15 May 2002 elections, but was shot and killed in Hilversum just nine days before the national poll.
Wilders has since been described in some circles as the new Fortuyn, but after an initial spectacular peak in popularity last year when he broke away from the Liberal VVD, support for his new party has gradually declined.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news