Mixed reactions about Rita’s new party
The launch of Iron Lady Rita Verdonk party on Thursday evening brought about mixed reactions from the Dutch papers.4 April 2008
THE NETHERLANDS – The launch of Iron Lady Rita Verdonk party on Thursday evening brought about mixed reactions from the Dutch papers.
The party, Trots op Nederland, translates as Proud of the Netherlands,
The mass circulation De Telegraaf quotes former immigration minister Verdonk as saying "When we Dutch people find ourselves constantly having to move over and adapt to new cultures in our own country, I say - enough is enough!" and provides a striking summary of her policies as "pride in our culture", "less traffic jams" and "a tough line on scum".
At least some of the papers seem to be taking her message with a pinch of salt, however.
The NRC's editorial describes Rita Verdonk's supporters as "a club for embittered patriots" and describes her vision of the Netherlands as "shamelessly simplistic and nostalgic".
AD's editorial points out that "there are many gaps that have yet to be filled in ... by the visitors to Rita's website and by her small army of advisors."
Nevertheless, her fans remain undaunted.
De Volkskrant describes how they "cheered with delight as she sneered at the professional politicians in The Hague" and told the crowd "Let's get on and do this together" as red, white and blue balloons descended from on high.
For better or for worse, the political landscape of the Netherlands may never be quite the same again. As the paper concludes "Trots op NL has been born".
[Radio Netherlands / David Doherty / Expatica]