European right welcomes Wilders’ “shockwave” win

An election hoarding featuring Wilders is removed from in front of parliament by crane. Photo: Robin Utrecht ANP

The Dutch election result has been followed closely abroad, with congratulations coming in for Geert Wilders from his far right allies in Europe.

Hungary’s nationalist prime minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday hailed “the winds of change” and congratulated Wilders on his victory. Marine Le Pen in France said the PVV’s “spectacular performance” confirms the growing attachment to the defence of national identities while Belgium’s far right leader Tom van Grieken said “the population is yearning for real change.”

Vox leader Santi Abascal, among many other European right-wing voices, commented on social media that “more and more Europeans are taking to the streets, and demanding in elections that their nations, their borders and their rights are defended.”

The foreign papers too placed Wilders’ victory in a wider European context, where several far right parties have made gains and found themselves part of coalition governments.

“The Dutch Vox wins”, the Spanish Okdiario headlines, comparing Wilders’ PVV with its Spanish extreme right-wing counterpart.

Italian paper El Corriere della Sera headlines with the “the proud night of the ex bogeyman” describing Wilders as the “blond Aryan” who managed to convince many people to vote for the party for the first time and represents a “silent majority” which finally spoke out.

The Washington Post said Wilders’ win is “one of the biggest political upsets in Dutch politics since World War II, and one that is bound to send shock waves through Europe.”

“The result is the latest in a series of elections that is altering the European political landscape,” as populist and hard-right parties continue to make themselves heard, the Post said.

CNN puts Wilders “shock election win” and subsequent problems forming a coalition in the context of the war in Ukraine.

“Wilders has repeatedly said the Netherlands should stop providing arms to Ukraine, as he says the country needs the weapons to be able to defend itself,” (another) subject over which will find himself at odds with prospective coalition partners.”

German paper Bild describes Geert Wilders’ meteoric rise as a “Rechts-Rutch”, or dramatic rush to the right, saying VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz had opened the door to a coalition with the extreme right-wing leader after he had been sidelined for years. While Wilders’ tone has become more “moderate” he still wants to “close the borders to asylum seekers,” Bild writes.

The British Daily Mail opens by calling Wilders “Holland’s Nexit bombshell” (in its largest font) and the reminder that he was once banned from the UK for being too extreme.

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