Geert Wilders, head of the anti-immigration party PVV, on Saturday refused to apologise for leading supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant in the wake of Wednesday’s local elections.
Two MPs, one MEP and a handful of local and provincial councillors have broken ties with the PVV since Wilders asked his supporters in The Hague ‘and do you want more or fewer Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?’ To which the crowd chanted ‘fewer, fewer, fewer’.
‘We’ll arrange that,’ Wilders said when the chanting died down.
Wilders told a news conference on Saturday afternoon he had nothing to apologise for. ‘I spoke the truth. I said nothing wrong, I am not sorry and I am not going to apologise for anything,’ Wilders said.
‘The media are full of comparisons with the past. I have not said I want to chuck every Moroccan out of the country. I will not apologise for something I have not said,’ he said.
The PVV wants to deport criminal Moroccans, limit immigration and facilitate emigration and this has been party policy for 10 years, he said.
Nos television pointed out earlier on Saturday that Wilders now has a problem putting together his list of candidates for the European elections in May. The list has to be finalised by April 8.
MP Joram van Klaveren and European parliamentarian Laurence Stassens, both of whom left the party because of the anti-Moroccan chanting, were in the committee charged with finalising the list.
Wilders is hoping to form an alliance with other anti-European parties within the European parliament after the May 22 vote.
Meanwhile, the NRC reports that one of Wilders’ financial backers in the US has criticised the anti-Moroccan chant.
Anti-Islam campaigner Daniel Pipes, who is thought to have paid $100,000 into Wilders’ legal fund when he faced inciting hatred charges in 2009, told the NRC he supported Wilders’ aims but not his tactics.
‘I would rather Mr Wilders had expressed himself about this subject somewhat more carefully,’ Pipes told the paper.
Dutch Jewish groups have also condemned the chants. Wilders is also thought to receive considerable funding from Israel.
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