Tuesday 02 June 2020

Pressure mounts on prime minister over Wilders Islam debate role

Two more opposition parties have added their voices to calls for prime minister Mark Rutte to react to to role of Geert Wilders as an anti-Islam campaigner following last month’s mass shootings in Norway.

Wilders has publicly distanced himself from Breivik’s actions, describing the killings as the work of a lunatic, but has accused left-wing politicians of trying to implicate him. The PVV leader was mentioned at least 30 times in Breivik’s manifesto.
GroenLinks MP Ineke van Gent told news agency ANP she too is ‘very unhappy’ with the current tone of the debate and ChristenUnie leader Arie Slob said the Norwegian attacks required a ‘moment of self-reflection from everyone’.
Slob also said he thought it noteworthy that the VVD and Christian Democrat ruling alliance had remained ‘quiet so silent’ about the PVV.
‘The political climate has become so polarised that normal discussion is no longer possible and everyone is divided into two camps,’ he said.
Earlier, D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said in an interview with the Volkskrant that Rutte should come clean on where he stands.
‘Where is the prime minister?’ Pechtold said. ‘Rutte cannot continue to say Wilders is simply an ally on some issues and the rest is nothing to do with me. I have to ask who is propping up who.’
The PVV has an alliance with the ruling minority coalition and has agreed to support it on the economy in return for tougher immigration rules.

Earlier stories

Prime minister should comment on Wilders Norway links: D66

Wilders accuses left of demonising him over Norway shootings
Wilders issues statement on Norway links
What the papers say
Norway shooter made many references to the Netherlands

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