100 days of the New Right in the Netherlands

31 01 2011

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte marks 100 days in power today. The coalition between his free-market liberals and the Christian Democrats, supported by Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, promised to usher in a new era of right-wing government.

Mark Rutte said supporters of the right would “lick their lips” in anticipation of his plans. He promised to be bold and decisive, to practice a different, more honest, kind of politics.

“This cabinet has the ambition to bring the Netherlands out of the crisis even stronger than before. And also to make this a country where a promise is a promise, where we not only set limits, but maintain them.”

But has Mark Rutte kept his promises? What has his government achieved so far?

Read the rest.

Judicial Bias in the Geert Wilders Trial

31 01 2011

From Gates of Vienna:

The new trial for Geert Wilders begins on February 7. In anticipation of what is to come, our Flemish correspondent VH has translated an article about the badly administered and compromised nature of the court system that tried Mr. Wilders the first time.

VH includes this note:

The enclosed news bulletin shows how important it is, with every inquisition-trial, to research and publish all details that can be squeezed out, and jump on top of the court involved — judges and accusers alike — using all blogs available.

His translation from Het Parool:

Read the rest.

Wilders Pulls Joke Vote Stunt for Cohen

31 01 2011

From NIS News Bulletin:

THE HAGUE, 20/01/11 – The Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Lower House has pulled a joke on Labour (PvdA) leader Job Cohen. The PVV MPs put him forward for the post of National Ombudsman on the grounds that his role as party leader was played out.

The House was electing a successor to National Ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer. It was already known beforehand that he wanted a second term and would also get it. In announcing the results of the anonymous ballot, however, it turned out that Cohen, who was not a candidate at all, had also received support.

Read the rest.

Wilders’ trial judges unprepared for media pressure

21 01 2011

From DutchNews.nl:

The three judges hearing the inciting hatred case against PVV leader Geert Wilders which collapsed last year were unprepared for the media pressure surrounding the case, according to an independent report into the debacle.

The judges were not sufficiently aware of the intense scrutiny they would come under from politicians, the media and on internet, the report, commissioned by the Amsterdam justice department, said. The trial of the MP was broadcast live on television.

The trial collapsed late October last year after a string of irregularities which legal officials said could be deemed prejudicial to Wilders.

The collapse, following a second challenge from Wilders’ legal team, had a serious effect on the three judges, who felt their integrity had been called into question, the report said.

Read the rest.

Europe’s main far-right parties

20 01 2011

From Expatica.com:

Here is a breakdown of the most prominent far-right parties in Europe following Sunday’s election to the leadership of France’s National Front of Marine Le Pen.

FRANCE – Presided since its formation in 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen, 82, the anti-immigrant National Front on Sunday chose his daughter, Marine Le Pen, as its new leader. Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has several convictions for racism and anti-Semitism, sent ripples through Europe in 2002 by coming in second in a presidential election, ahead of the Socialist candidate. Recent polls showed 22 percent ready to vote for Marine Le Pen if she runs for president in 2012.

AUSTRIA – Austria’s main far-right party, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), came in second in municipal polls in the capital Vienna last October, winning 27 percent of the vote. The result was similar to that obtained in 1996 by the party’s charismatic leader Joerg Haider, who died in 2008.

SWITZERLAND – According to election results, the populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) has been the country’s biggest single grouping since 2003. Part of the ruling coalition, it enjoys the support of about a third of the electorate. It was further strengthened when it received citizens’ backing in referendums on banning the construction of new mosque minarets, and automatically expelling foreign residents convicted of certain crimes.

NETHERLANDS – Far-right leader Geert Wilders, 47, heads the Freedom Party, which holds 24 of the Dutch lower house of parliament’s 150 seats, having finished third in legislative elections last June. Wilders stirred controversy in March 2008 when he released a short film denouncing the Islamic holy book the Koran as fascist. The party supports the minority centre-right government of liberal Mark Rutte.

Read the rest.

Freedom Party candidate dropped from provincial elections

20 01 2011

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

Freedom Party (PVV) candidate Carlo de Bruin has withdrawn from the North Holland provincial elections. The party leadership says he was de-selected after it was discovered that he has two previous drink driving convictions.

The PVV suffered adverse publicity recently when it was revealed that a number of its MPs had covered up previous criminal offences. The populist anti-Islam party favours tough law and order policies.

Mr De Bruin says he only has one drink driving conviction. He claims the real reason for his being dropped from the PVV list of candidates is a business project recruiting young Muslim women for the healthcare sector.

Read the rest.

Left-wing parties pledge to work towards ‘a different Netherlands’

19 01 2011

From DutchNews.nl:

The three leaders of the country’s main left-wing parties pledged to work together to bring about ‘a different Netherlands’ at a joint congress in Amsterdam on Sunday.

The meeting was called by Labour leader Job Cohen to strengthen the profile of the opposition in the run-up to the March provincial elections.

Cohen described the gathering as historic, but did not announce any future plans, the NRC says in its coverage of the event.

‘This more a cease fire during the election campaign and a moment for the parties to gather new energy than for a new vision for the future,’ the paper said in an analysis.

Read the rest.