Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has told the AD newspaper he believes Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam PVV should be involved in the current talks on forming a new government, but not necessarily that the party should be part of the coalition.
The PVV came a narrow second in the March 15 general election and has 20 seats in the 150 seat parliament, one more than D66 and the Christian Democrats who are involved in the talks with the ruling VVD.
However, the PVV has been excluded from the negotiating table because all the big parties have said they will not work with the party following anti-Moroccan comments made by Wilders.
‘To me it would be logical for all the parties from centre to the right wing get round the table,’ he told the paper in an interview. ‘The PVV is part of the right wing so they should be there too. I think that does justice to the vote. But I am not saying the VVD and CDA should form a cabinet with the PVV.’
Aboutaleb, who has Moroccan roots and is a Labour party supporter, said that much more should be done in terms of development cooperation and reducing climate change to stem migration and head off the right-wing challenge.
‘What if we stopped putting the money that we in Europe loose on taking care of refugees into the regions that they come from?’ he said. ‘Believe you me, it takes something to migrate. I am a migrant and it is the highest price you can pay… your social environment and family structure is broken.
‘If you can ensure better food provision, better education and the like, then people will be less keen to leave.’
Aboutaleb, himself a Muslim, is known for his outspoken stance on radical Islam. Two years ago he broke with the Labour party line and said Dutch nationals who have decided they want to travel to Syria to join Islamic militias should be allowed to go but should be banned from coming back to the Netherlands.
‘I want to make sure those who are considering going to Syria know exactly what is at risk,’ Aboutaleb said. ‘If you think this society is depraved, then go. But there is no way back. Hand over your passport and risk getting bombed.’
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