Minister pledges support on MP's security costs
31 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — Right-wing MP Geert Wilders, whose life has been threatened for his criticism of Islam, will be able to continue his election campaign in spite of the cost of the extra security measures he requires, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has pledged.
31 August 2006
AMSTERDAM — Right-wing MP Geert Wilders, whose life has been threatened for his criticism of Islam, will be able to continue his election campaign in spite of the cost of the extra security measures he requires, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has pledged.
Donner and Wilders are to have a meeting on Friday about the matter. "We will sort this out because one must be allowed to conduct a campaign," Donner said. The minister did not say whether the government would cover all the cost.
Wilders announced on Wednesday his Party for Freedom could not afford to pay for his security and therefore his campaign was in danger.
Parliamentary chairman Frans Weisglas wrote to Donner demanding that the government cover the costs. The Minister indicated he didn't think there was any problem. He wondered why Wilders had not called him to discuss the matter before going to the media.
Yet Donner's officials confirmed on Wednesday that the Ministry pays for personal security for threatened individuals but organisations have to cover the security costs of meetings themselves.
The diplomatic protection service (DKDB) has strongly advised Wilders that mental detector gates should be placed at the entrances of his election rallies. This would cost EUR 1,000 per event, a sum Wilders said his new party could not afford.
As the discussion about the security costs raged in the media, police elsewhere in The Hague responded to a burglar alarm at the apartment complex where the MP lives. It turned out to be a false alarm.
Earlier this month broadcaster TROS cancelled a television appearance by Wilders because it felt the security costs were too high.
[Copyright Expatica New 2006]
Subject: Dutch news