Threatened MP returns to Parliament
16 December 2004, AMSTERDAM — Independent right-wing MP Geert Wilders has appeared in the Dutch Parliament for the first time in weeks, having previously met with government ministers to discuss his security concerns.
16 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — Independent right-wing MP Geert Wilders has appeared in the Dutch Parliament for the first time in weeks, having previously met with government ministers to discuss his security concerns.
"I have an entire package of proposals that I now intend to get to work on, " Wilders said when he appeared in The Hague on Thursday.
Wilders, a staunch critic of Islam and Turkey's EU candidacy, has been in hiding after his life was threatened. He was one of the Dutch politicians named as the next potential victim following the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam on 2 November.
Wilders — who is under constant guard — decided to return to parliament on Thursday after meeting with Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Interior Minister Johan Remkes on Wednesday. All parties described the meeting as "satisfactory", national news service NOS reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, Wilders also had a private meeting with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende to discuss his safety and ongoing attempts to set up a new political party. Afterwards, Wilders said the meeting was "pleasant".
Wilders quit the Liberal VVD party three months ago to stop party elders gagging his statements about Muslims and Turkey's possible accession to the European Union.
He then announced his intention to set up a new party and opinion polls have suggested it would do very well if a general election was held in the near future.
But Wilders has accused the Dutch government of not doing enough to guarantee his security or to ensure he is able to continue his political activities.
He has also been angered by what he called attempts to hinder the formation of his party. He claims members of the security services contacted potential party members to warn them they would be risking their lives by teaming up with Wilders.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news