VVD leader wants wider freedom of speech
Mark Rutte, the leader of the conservative VVD, says Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende must take the initiative to safeguard full freedom of speech in the Netherlands.AMSTERDAM - In an interview with De Telegraaf, Rutte said everybody should be able to speak their minds, as long as they do not incite to violence against persons or their possessions.
The conservative leader said other possible limitations on freedom of speech, such as blasphemy, should be removed.
Rutte said he would himself take submit a bill to substantially widen freedom of speech should the prime minister fail to do so.
Rutte's statements were prompted by a ruling of an Amsterdam court, which decided that Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders must be prosecuted for incitement to hatred and discrimination.
The VVD leader said it was ridiculous that Mr Wilders should stand trial because of his ideas on Islam.