Pressure piles on prime minister over PVV anti-Pole website

The secretary general of the council of Europe has written to foreign minister Uri Rosenthal urging the Dutch government to ‘clarify its position’ regarding a website set up by Geert Wilders’ PVV to collect complaints about central and eastern European nationals.


While emphasising the right to freedom of expression, Thorbjørn Jagland’s letter says: ‘I am concerned because it is hosted by a political party which is linked to the governing coalition.’
The secretary general also expresses the hope that the Dutch government will publicly distance itself from the content of the website. The council of Europe is an international organisation set up to promote human rights and democracy.
Refusal
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has said repeatedly the website is a matter for the PVV alone but has refused to distance himself from the initiative. The PVV, while not officially part of the government, has a formal alliance with the minority cabinet and will soon take part in talks on making new spending cuts.
Meanwhile, in Britain, 11 MPs from all sides of the political spectrum have signed a motion calling on the Dutch government to distance itself from the PVV website.
The motion notes that ‘the PVV supports the minority government of Mark Rutte, who has remained silent on the issue, and calls on the Dutch prime minister to disassociate the Dutch government from the PVV campaign and demand the website is discontinued’.
The website has already been condemned by European commissioners, MEPs, employers’ leaders, ambassadors and migrant labour groups.
The website places newspaper headlines such as ‘Eastern Europeans, increasingly criminal’ alongside a complaints hotline. The PVV says the aim is to gain insight into ‘problems caused by central and eastern Europeans in terms of crime, alcoholism, drugs use, dumping household waste and prostitution’.
Earlier stories
European Poles call for action on PVV website
Poles say PVV website is discriminatory
Anti-Pole website boosts PVV fortunes
European parliament to debate anti-Pole website
Pressure mounts on prime minister over PVV website
Prime minister under fire in parliament over PVV website
Prime minister again refuses to comment on anti-Pole website
Ambassadors protest at PVV’s anti-Eastern European website
PVV website is an open call to intolerance
Prime minister refuses to condemn PVV website
Trouble with Limburgers of Belgians? Complaint websites spring up
Employers leader urges government to distance itself from PVV website
Romania wants action on PVV website
Problems with Poles? Report them to us, says new PVV website
Opinion pieces
Youp van ‘t Hek: Gleam in PVV’s eye is a Pole
Frans Weisglas: When will Rutte stop his cowardly behaviour towards Wilders?
What the papers say
Dear Dutch people
PVV site is not discriminatory