Wilders aims to bring down European parliament

24th May 2009, Comments 6 comments

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, who has gained international notoriety with his attacks on Islam, is now aiming to bring down the European parliament - from the inside.

THE HAGUE - Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, who has gained international notoriety with his attacks on Islam, is now aiming to bring down the European parliament - from the inside.

The 45-year-old, with his platinum-dyed hair and 24-hour protection after multiple death threats, has made sure his Party for Freedom (PVV) has been at the centre of the Dutch campaign for the 4-7 June election to the EU parliament.

"Every voter who wants to signal that the European Union is good for nothing in its current form can do so by voting for Geert Wilders," he said.

Wilders occupies the tenth and last place on the PVV's list for the election. But he has insisted he will not take a seat if elected -- having put forward the unknown Barry Madlener to head the party's first EU vote campaign.

Wilders faces a trial at home for his anti-Islam utterings and was recently barred from entering Britain to stop him spreading "hatred and violent messages," particulary in his movie "Fitna" in which he said Islam was fascist.

But he is at the height of its popularity at home and the PVV hopes to take up to four of the 25 Dutch seats in the 736 member EU assembly, despite advocating its demise.

He declared in a recent newspaper interview that he wants "to bring it down from inside."

"Wilders holds up Europe, Islam and immigration as evils," political analyst Alfred Pijpers said, recalling how Dutch voters rejected a proposed European constitution in a 2005 referendum.

Some polls suggest the country is now more sceptical than ever about continental cooperation, boosting the PVV's campaign for "More Netherlands, less Europe".

The populist politician wants the June 4 vote in the Netherlands to serve as a test of attitudes toward Europe and has urged Dutch voters to turn out en masse.

"He is the only one to position himself against Europe in such an extreme way, and has thereby transformed the election into a new referendum: Wilders against the rest of the political establishment," analyst Andrew Krouwel told AFP.

"He can only emerge victorious," said Krouwel, as three PVV seats out of 25 in the European Parliament could be translated as equalling national support of 18 out of 150 seats on the Dutch parliament.

The PVV, formed in 2006, currently has nine seats in the domestic parliament, compared to 41 for Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA) which rules in coalition with the Labour Party and the Christian Union.

But recent polls have put the PVV neck-and-neck with the CDA in terms of national support.

Regarded by many as the sole voice for Dutch disquiet about the economic and cultural implications of Islamic immigration, the PVV calls for government based on Judeo-Christian principles.

It seeks the eviction of Romania and Bulgaria from the European Union, a freeze on future enlargement and believes Turkey should not become a member "not now, not in a hundred years".

"The PVV takes part in the European elections ... because the islamisation has to be stopped," states a message on the party's website. "We want to be the boss of our own country."

The only cooperation, it says, should be economic.

Some 375 million voters across Europe will elect deputies for a five-year term on the parliament, responsible for passing pan-European legislation as well as the commission's annual budget -- about 140 billion euros in 2010.

The parliament is expected to stay under centre right control but the PVV is one of many far-right parties across the 27-nation bloc making a claim for seats in the parliament that they nearly all oppose.

AFP / Alix Rijckaert / Expatica

6 Comments To This Article

  • Khalid Ahmed Chaudry posted:

    on 28th May 2009, 13:45:28 - Reply

    AYS, Very well said, very very professional and realistic approach towards the 'Issue',my compliments on this!! I agree with you.Your decent way of writing and of course deep understandings you have opened the door for a dialogue in our society and there are plenty of those still willing to contribute.

    At least WE can dream together!!
  • ays posted:

    on 27th May 2009, 17:24:58 - Reply

    Dear Total Lack of Action,

    There seems to be a logical mistake in your argument: the assumption that there is AN Islam - a unified force that behaves this way and decides that way. This is similar to calling all Europe murderers because of the abortion doctor killings in the United States and to make your life miserable when you are trying to visit your family or move together with them in Dubai, because your partner was offered this well-paid job. Such an assumption does not allow the remaining of your reasoning be anything but anti-Islamic. Coming from another country full of fear against Islam, Turkey, I can see its many faces. I can also see how this anti-Islamic sentiment only produces more of the Islam you dislike so much.

    It is NOT ok to burn flags, state you all infidels, riot over cartoons, surpress women in the name of Islam, and you should make a point out of that. These have neither anything to do with immigrants in the Netherlands nor the EU elections. But also I suggest you not to take these images too seriously either. Do you realise what a big ratio of those people that you regard as Muslim (while they have a multiplicity of identities) didn't burn flag, riot over cartoons, state you all infidels etc?

    As for the domestic violence issue, I am surprised too, why is it in the Netherlands that so much domestic violence takes place among the Muslim immigrants, while this is not the case in most moderate Islamic communities? The answers, maybe are not made of single statements. I would guess a combination of allochtone exclusion and the structure of Dutch immigration law brings out the worst in these people. In case you didn't care to look, the Dutch law makes the women who are applying for a residence permit absolutely and completely dependent on their husbands: they cannot threaten to leave them, they cannot separate their houses, they cannot go back to their country so these women cannot do anything but bear the burden. I think, a few changes in law and a bit of time would do a lot of good. There is no need to become so bitter, angry, and scared. More importantly, there is no reason to stop trying to change the world, if we will make it any better. When accepting differences means you don't try to change evil behaviour, there is no room for democracy but only statements about how your way of life is the only way.

    On the other hand, what Khalid finalises his email with reflects what (some of) the autochtone Dutch society is failing at: To see themselves a part of a greater population that is the Netherlands. No wonder they cannot appreciate a supranational organisation like the EU.

    Finally, I can tell you what Wilders' xenophobic discourse is good for from a different perspective: It's good for frustrating gay movements, women's movements, and other progressive movements in countries where these are still political struggles (not here in the Netherlands, although there is a lot to struggle about, all is depoliticised, unfortunately). It serves the interests of fundamentalists all over Arabia. They can generate greater outcry everytime Wilders thinks of one more insult, hence, there is less and less public space for progressive movements.
  • Khalid Ahmed Chaudry posted:

    on 27th May 2009, 13:45:25 - Reply

    My dear country fellow,

    As a Dutch Muslim I do condemn what ever is wrong and against the humanity and by saying that I do not validate the week points among the Muslim communities.

    I do love and respect the Torah and Bible like Quran (for me its one family).
    Please let me say " Its not Islam but the people who are the source of misunderstandings even within Muslims", and its not Islam which demands people not to integrate but its the culture and other short comings.
    There has to be a space for dialogue and respecting each others believe and culture and closing doors means closing opportunities for any positive environment which is required to prosper in our beautiful country..

    We should never ignore and forget ' the power of love', we can win the hearts of our fellow human beings through this force full weapon but not by using force or one sided demands.

    Although I was born in a Muslim country but please let me claim that: I do love my new home land and all my country fellows from depth of my heart. I do love the Dutch Soil and am in love with her fragrance.

    My only dream is to see my country fellows united under Red-White-Blue flag and working and respecting the Article ONE of our constitution.

    We should accept each other with open heart and mind and believe me that's the only Magic towards a victory as a nation . Netherlands is now a motherland/fatherland and home of all of us ' the black,the white,the yellow or brown, the Jew,the Christian,the Muslim,the Hindu,the Buddhist and the atheist. Only one thing can help our society and that is to understand and respect each other as we are.

    I still and I will be keeping my hopes intact and higher and higher for a time when The Netherlands will be known as a country of Solidarity and Harmony and as a nation who condemns all sorts of negative approaches,acts and efforts.

    If we want to help ourselves and our future generations,in that case we don't have any other choice but to love each other and hug each other to transfer our positive energy to say WE THE DUTCH PEOPLE !!
  • Total Lack of Action posted:

    on 27th May 2009, 12:53:43 - Reply

    At last, somene that is willing to state what most of the people think but are sitent. It is ok to burn our flags, state we are all infidels, riot over cartoons, surpress women in the name of Islam, but as soon as some one speaks out, he is a trouble maker? No he is not!
    If we are all to get along, we have to acknowledge that there are differences in the world and accept them not change them! Islam I'm affraid is not willing to accept this. Muslims are happy to live in the west and have all it's advantage, but are not willing to bend and integrate alltogether, a fact that alienates them and their thinking.
    I respect Islamic countries laws when I had to visit them in the past, if you want to live here, respect ours!
    This double standard has to stop!
  • Khald Ahmed Chaudry posted:

    on 27th May 2009, 12:14:22 - Reply

    Through this site I would like to request my country fellow Mr.Geert Wilders " Please learn the lessons of history of mankind or even think about the last words of Alexander The Great " keep my hands out of my coffin so that people should see I am leaving this world with empty hands" (can we forget the bloodshed,the sufferings of people around the globe due to his efforts to conquer the world?).Then in our recent history Adolph Hitler's genocide of the millions of Jews throwing them in to the concentration camps and gas chambers. Mussolini's era of devilish acts and all other civil or military dictators and racist activists who in their acts tried their best to destroy the peace in our societies.

    I request you as one of the citizen of this globe " Please use your positive energy (I am sure there is plenty of ) to unite the Dutch Public against all sorts of violence and hatred so that as a nation we can work for the World Peace and understanding". Which will be the only way to save our future generations from all sorts of threats.

    Let me dare to say, " A day will come in your life when you will be recalling what ever you done and what you shouldn't have done but then it will be too late,so why can't you show us your courageous positive side of leadership " here I am to acknowledge my mistakes and from now on I would be working only for the solidarity among us (all those living on the Dutch Soil) and to spread love.

    Mr.Geert Wilders, " Let us join hands against all those forces who are working against the peace and the Universal Human Rights of the people of this heavenly planet".!!
  • Veronique Swinkels posted:

    on 25th May 2009, 10:37:46 - Reply

    Wilders has no real solutions to the real problems of today. His strategy is raising fear. His point of view and ideas make Holland weaker instead of stronger. We need Europe and we need to build a stronger more democratic Europe. That is our future and not the political isolationisme that Wilders claims. If you have the right to vote in Holland consider Newropeans, a European political party that participates in several European countries and has a stronger democracy as its core programme. Check out our multilingual Website www.newropeans.eu