Dutch minorities warn of risks from anti-Islam party

30 08 2010

By Marcel Michelson, via Reuters:

(Reuters) – Half a dozen ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands have warned in a letter that their rights could be endangered if a new Dutch government is formed that depends on the support of an anti-immigrant party.The groups, representing Turks, Moroccans and Dutch Caribbeans among others, wrote to the chairman of coalition talks between the Liberal Party (VVD) and Christian Democrats (CDA), two right-leaning parties that began discussions on forming a minority government a month ago.

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Meanwhile, via Radio Netherlands Worldwide: Increasing pressure from senior CDA members.

Dutch Christian Democrats split over stance on Wilders

29 08 2010

Via Monsters & Critics:

The Hague – Division within the Netherlands’s Christian Democratic Appell (CDA) party over dealing with the far-right PVV party of anti-Islamist politician Geert Wilders deepened Friday with a top leader insisting talks with the PVV should continue.

CDA parliamentary faction leader Maxime Verhagen ruled out suspending talks with the PVV – rejecting a call made the day before by former premier Ruud Lubbers – on getting the PVV’s backing for a minority government.

Verhagen said any suspension of the talks was out of the question. The work towards forming a Wilders-approved minority cabinet was in full swing, she said.

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German minister lashes out at Wilders

29 08 2010

Via Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

The German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has issued a harsh criticism of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders. In a conversation with foreign journalists on Wednesday afternoon, he called the Freedom Party (PVV) leader’s politics, “totally the wrong path for the world in the 21st century”.

The minister promised that Germany would cooperate as best as it could with a new Dutch government, even if it was dependent on the support of the PVV. But, he added, “Whether it’s a German or anyone else, we must combat every impulse to xenophobia.”

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Dutch Coalition Talks Threatened as Lubbers Changes Mind on Wilders Party

27 08 2010

Via Bloomberg:

Three-time Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, who brokered talks on forming a government between his Christian Democrats, the Liberal Party, and the anti-Islam Freedom Party, said he now opposed the plan, citing concerns about freedom of religion.

“My stance has developed from a ‘yes, but’ to a ‘no, unless,’” Lubbers wrote in an Aug. 20 letter to the Christian Democrat leader in parliament, Maxime Verhagen, and party chairman Henk Bleker published by Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant today.

Lubbers’s change of view may jeopardize the formal negotiations that started last month on establishing a Liberal- Christian Democrat government that would rely on the support of the Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, to get legislation through parliament. It would be the Netherlands’ first minority administration since World War II.

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The Christian Democrat chairman is a whiner, says Geert Wilders

27 08 2010

Via DutchNews.nl:

Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV who is currently in talks on drawing up new government policy with the Christian Democrats and VVD, has called the CDA chairman ‘an enormous whiner’ on the micro blogging service Twitter.

Wilders was responding to Henk Bleker’s appearance on a tv talk show on Wednesday night in which he said the new government must unify rather than divide society, and that the PVV must accept that fact.

‘Can’t the CDA chairman Bleker go on holiday or something. What an enormous whiner,’ wrote Wilders. ‘And let’s make it quite clear, the PVV does not have to do anything.’

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Opposition grows among Christian Democrats

27 08 2010

Via DutchNews.nl:

With cabinet negotiations entering their third week, a weekend poll shows that 39% of Christian Democrat party members are against any form of political cooperation with Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam PVV.

Negotiations are continuing this week to form a minority right-wing government of Christian Democrats and Liberal VVD with Wilders’ party providing support on certain policies in parliament in return for getting some of his immigration policies accepted.

The poll, carried out by TNS Nipo for the Algemeen Dagblad, also shows that 13% of the 67,000 party members would give up their membership if Wilders is involved in a new right-wing government.

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Meanwhile, via Radio Netherlands Worldwide: Dutch Christian Democrat leader ‘too secretive’

Leaders fear for Netherlands’ image as anti-Islam populist turns kingmaker

25 08 2010

By Ian Traynor, via the Guardian:

The Dutch government has launched a damage-limitation campaign to try to counter what it fears is the disastrous international impact of the Islam-bashing populist Geert Wilders.

Wilders, whose success in June’s general election catapulted him into the role of kingmaker in attempts to form a new coalition government, is to travel to New York to take part in protests on 11 September against the proposed Muslim community centre near Ground Zero.

Maxime Verhagen, the acting foreign minister and Christian Democrats’ leader, has voiced fears that Wilders’s speech in New York will tarnish Dutch reputations. He has also taken the unusual step of circulating confidential orders to Dutch diplomats around the world on how to answer questions about Wilders’s influence in a new government and on the fallout for Muslims in the Netherlands.

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