Thursday 20 January 2022

PVV MEP quit because of planned EU alliance with ‘dodgy types’

A European MP for the anti-immigration PVV said he pulled out of this year’s election because he did not want to work with ‘wrong people’ such as the French Front National and Austrian FPÖ.

Lucas Hartong said in an interview with the Volkskrant he had always distanced himself from extremists but that would be difficult to do because of PVV leader Geert Wilders’ hopes of forming a European grouping within the parliament.

‘The FPÖ remains a party which was set up by old members of the SS,’ he told the Volkskrant. ‘One of the people in the Swedish Democrats has made Hitler salutes. He has been expelled from the party but still.’

Alliance 

Wilders and Front National leader Marine le Pen are keen to form an official European parliamentary group after the May vote but need at least seven parties and 27 MPs to achieve this. The FPO, Swedish Democrats and Belgian far-right group Vlaams Belang have agreed to join the alliance and Wilders has also been wooing Italy’s Lega Nord.

Wilders has been heavily criticised for linking up with Le Pen, whose father has convictions for anti-semitism and is still on the party’s candidate list for the European parliament.

‘I can no longer explain to my friends that I am working with father Le Pen,’ Hartong told the Volkskrant. ‘I cannot work with dodgy types.’

The PVV currently has four MPs in the European parliament and is on target to remain at that figure in the May 22 vote.

Wilders has also dismissed criticism of his working with parties which oppose gay rights as not relevant to the campaign against European control and mass immigration. Wilders told Nos television last year: ‘these are not reasons not to work together’.

He also refused to denounce the presence of people making Nazi salutes and carrying a flag from the Dutch national socialist party NSB at a PVV demonstration last year.

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