Thursday 20 January 2022

PVV under fire for Front National links in first European debate

The anti-immigration PVV came under attack in Thursday night’s European election television debate for its links with France’s far-right Front National.

The party’s founder and current MEP Jean Le Pen has several convictions for racism and has described the Holocaust as an ‘historical detail’. The PVV is hoping to form an alliance in the European parliament with the Front National and other far-right parties after the vote.

Marcel de Graaff, who is leading the PVV’s European campaign, defended the relationship. ‘The alliance we are looking for is based on political arguments,’ he said. ‘The Front National is led by Marine Le Pen. She has distanced herself from the words of her father.’

Alliance

However, both VVD leader Hans van Baalen and D66’s Sophie in ‘t Veld pointed out that Le Pen senior will be an MEP. ‘You cannot say that you have nothing to do with him and then be part of the same grouping,’ In ‘t Veld said.

Van Baalen and De Graaff had a second run-in later in the debate with the PVV candidate accusing the VVD of ‘giving money to Greece and other garlic-eating countries’.

Van Baalen denied the claim, saying no money has been given away. He accused the PVV of lying and making threats.

Tax

During the debate, In ‘t Veld also called for the EU to be given direct tax raising powers to replace the current system of country-based contributions. This, she said, would improve democracy.

‘At the moment budgets are worked out for seven years behind closed doors,’ she said. ‘In a democracy, parliament has democratic control over those with power.’

The European elections take place in the Netherlands on May 22. The PVV currently has four MEPs. The Netherlands currently has 25 representatives in Brussels but this will rise to 26.

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.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.