Tuesday 02 June 2020

Poker players and businessmen – the biggest political party donors

The biggest individual donation to a political party last year was €166,000 left to the left-wing green party GroenLinks in the will of psychotherapist Joop Valstar, current affairs show Nieuwsuur said, on the basis of an analysis of party annual accounts.

Currently all donations over €4,500 have to be reported. Nieuwsuur used freedom of information legislation to request all political party financial reports and other finance-related documents relating to last year.

The VVD receives donations from several foundations as well as from private individuals, with €35,000 from the brothers Ernst and Richard Nijkerk as one of the more noteworthy.

Publisher Willem Sijthoff gave D66 €17,500 while millionaire businessman Rob Defares gave the party €25,000.

Nationalist party Forum voor Democratie received €10,000 from professional poker player Martijn Gerrits, who lives on Malta, while Cyprus-based entrepreneur Nick Galea donated €15,000.

The Socialist party received mostly donations from members, in line with party rules. In total, they donated more than €4m, with leader Lilian Marijnissen topping the list with a donation of almost €88,000.

Foreign funding

In January, the government announced that Dutch political parties are to be banned from accepting funding from sources outside the EU as part of efforts to combat ‘unwanted foreign interference’ in Dutch politics.

Earlier research has showed that the anti-immigration PVV is the main recipient of foreign money.

The PVV was not part of the Nieuwsuur research because it only has one member and is not, therefore, able to claim government subsidies.

The research also showed that the VVD spent most – €3.6m – on last year’s election campaigns.

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