The Labour party and Geert Wilders are embroiled in an angry row over comments made by the anti-Islam campaigner about Moroccans.
Wilders said earlier this week voters in The Hague should vote for a city with lower taxes and, if possible, fewer Moroccans. Wilders’ PVV party is fielding local election candidates in The Hague and Almere but nowhere else.
The criticism led one Labour candidate to compare Wilders to Hitler, a statement he later withdrew after criticism from senior Labour officials, saying the comparison had been unjustified.
Wilders then responded by saying Fouad Sidali’s rethink was sensible but that ‘it would have been more sensible to leave for Morocco’.
Labour’s social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher stepped into the row, saying Wilders’ initial comments were unacceptable. ‘People can combat these sort of comments by making a different choice on Wednesday,’ he said.
Asscher was referring to next Wednesday’s local elections.
Wilders then demanded the prime minister state if Asscher was speaking on behalf of the cabinet. Rutte went on to say Asscher had not made an appeal to people not to vote PVV. It was a statement of fact, the prime minister said.
The PVV is set to become the biggest party in The Hague and there are concerns about the message this will send out to the international community. Labour is currently the biggest party in the political capital.
At an election debate for expats earlier this week, one local PVV candidate said the party wants to lower taxes, scrap the dog tax and make the city safer.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.