Amsterdam, Netherlands - Far-right, anti-Islam Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders unveiled Tuesday, July 3, his party’s new platform for national election that downplays hostility against Islam, while bashing the European Union.
"Out of the morass, out of the euro, out of the EU!" Wilders wrote in the electoral platform of his Freedom Party (PVV), the Dutch News reported.
Preparing for the September election, Wilders has coined a new party program that focuses on criticizing the European Union.
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"Their Brussels, our Netherlands,” headlined the program.
Wilders is a staunch opponent of the Netherlands’ membership in the European Union.
He brought down the government last April after refusing to agree with the ruling coalition on how to cut 14 to 16 billion euros from the budget and get the Dutch deficit down to the EU target next year.
“We are pragmatic and patriotic,” Wilders said.
“The EU flag which waves above the parliamentary complex is an 'indignity' and should be removed as soon as possible.”
Wilders is notorious for his rants against Islam and Muslims.
Since storming onto the political scene in 2004, Wilders has influenced Dutch immigration policy and set the tone of public debate, whether on Muslims and burqas or bailouts and the euro, in what once would have been regarded as politically incorrect language.
He has called for banning the Noble Qur’an, describing the Muslim holy book as “fascist”.
In 2008, Wilders released a 15-minute documentary accusing the Qur'an of inciting violence.
His party’s anti-Islam campaigns, however, have helped it make its biggest gains since Wilders has founded it in 2006.
Muslims, mostly from Turkish and Moroccan origin, make up one million of the Netherlands’s 16 million population.
The new electoral program was unveiled as two more MPs quit the far-right party in protest at Wilders.
“Everything revolves around Geert Wilders and he does not take anyone else into account,” Marcial Hernandez told a news conference cited by the Dutch News.
“He chooses and plays with the future and lives of the people around him.”
Hernandez and his colleague Wim Kortenoven said they left the party in protest at Wilders’ hegemony of the party.
“I thought I had found my captain, but I was wrong. Geert deserted me,” Hernandez said.
In March, PVV member Hero Brinkman resigned from the party, saying he could no longer accept the lack of democracy within the organization.
Kortenoven said party members were humiliated by Wilders.
“We were increasingly facing humiliation,” he said.
“Wilders had contempt for normal social behavior and was inaccessible to members of his bloc in parliament.
“Wilders is a political good-for-nothing.”