Wilders questions PM about intimidation
9 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — Independent right-wing MP Geert Wilders has called on Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende to outline how he intends to deal with security officers hampering the founding of a new anti-immigration party.
Wilders resigned earlier this year from the Liberal VVD to prevent the party’s leaders reigning in his heavy-handed criticism of Islam and his opposition to Turkey joining the European Union.
The MP has been threatened with death because of his criticisms of Islam and he has been advised to stay away from Parliament for a time to allow the climate to normalise. He has been given around-the-clock protection.
Wilders has announced plans to form a new right-of-centre party which opinion polls suggest could do very well at the next general election.
But Wilders has said “sources within the security services” have warned the media that people who join his party would face the same security risks as he does.
People who have expressed an interest in joining his movement have also been approached and warned they would be putting their lives in danger, Wilders claims.
He said in parliament that the democratic process is being frustrated by the activities of unnamed security agents.
Wilders has also heavily criticised a suggestion by Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner that being assigned bodyguards had become a “status symbol”.
Wilders has demanded a meeting with Balkenende, Donner and Interior Minister Johan Remkes to discuss his own security and the security of people connected to his new party.
He has also claimed that his usual chair in Parliament is dangerous as it puts him right under the public gallery. He has now been granted permission to sit three rows further forward in the chamber.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news