Geert Wilders’ PVV party is an ‘extreme right-wing’ grouping and a threat to social cohesion and democracy, according to a report on radicalism in the Netherlands by three academics for the home affairs ministry, the Volkskrant reported at the weekend.
The report, which is not yet finalised, looks at polarisation and radicalism in the Netherlands. Ministers and the researchers are still discussing the final changes but sources say ministers want to water down the conclusions because of the political sensitivity, the paper says.
As it now stands, the report describes the PVV as an ‘extreme right-wing party which is mobilising anti-Islam sentiment and hatred of governmental system’, theVolkskrant states.
‘Wilders creates a certain level of threat,’ Edwin Bakker of the Clingendael institute told the paper. ‘Not just abroad with his [anti-Islam] film Fitna but because he is mobilising fear in the Netherlands. Wilders is a danger to state security.’
Wilders has reacted furiously to the claims. ‘This is the latest scandalous attempt of the elite to demonise the PVV and silence all our supporters,’ he told the Volkskrant in a telephone text message. ‘If there is anything undermining democracy it is this left-wing elite, including these fake researchers, and Islamisation.’
Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Liberal democratic party D66 and an outspoken critic of Wilders, said: ‘Geert Wilders is a racist and on the extreme right. And now finally there is a scientific basis [to prove it].’
The fact that home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst apparently wants to weaken the report’s conclusions shows that Wilders is indeed a danger to democracy, he said.
Integration minister Eberhard van der Laan told De Pers newspaper he too considered the PVV could be dangerous if the party became too big, but that he did not think the party would achieve the election results current opinion polls predict.
The PVV has nine seats in the current parliament but is forecast to be one of the biggest parties after the 2011 general election.
Nevertheless, Van der Laan said he was extremely reluctant to register people’s ethnicity or nationality as a policy tool, as Wilders wants. ‘It is a question of better safe than sorry,’ he told the paper.
Wilders told the Telegraaf later both Pechtold and Van der Laan are the ‘political accomplices’ of Mohammed Bouyeri, the radical Muslim man who murdered film maker Theo van Gogh five years ago.
The two politicians are ‘contributing to a climate of hatred and violence against me and the PVV,’ he told the paper.
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