Wilders faces fierce Opposition from all Sides in ‘Moroccan’ Debate

Netherlands, 15 Mar - 28 Mar 2014
Geert Wilders – under attack by other parties and the people in the streets ++ International leaders gather in The Hague for Nuclear Security Summit ++ Murderer of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn to be released early. by Jessica van Zinnicq Bergmann, Kirsten Lucas
Geert Wilders – under attack by other parties and the people in the streets

Last week the local elections took place in the Netherlands and once again Geert Wilders took the central stage. Even though he was not up for election his remarks concerning Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands (see latest Dutch report Mar 2014/1) dominated the Dutch media.

He managed to cause even more outrage by asking his voters during the election party if they wanted more or less Moroccans, summoning them to chant the answer. The crowd erupted and shouted “minder - minder” (less, less). Immediately after this, the first party member already decided to distance himself from the remarks by leaving the party. The next few days others would follow his actions.

Politicians from other parties said they were horrified by his actions, which sparked the debate if they should still accept propositions from his populist Party of Freedom (PVV) or if they should just vote against all of their proposals. D66 said they would not be doing this as such actions are not democratic and the might have to vote against proposals they agree with adding that sometime PVV also has good ideas.

The Dutch society however did spring into action with masses going in thousands to press charges against Geert Wilders, hoping that this would once again result in a trial. Last year there was a trial against him, but he was cleared of all charges, as he did not specifically discriminate against a group. Many think due to his latest comments he might be prosecuted.

The last few years Geert Wilders has managed to dominate the Dutch politics and leave the Dutch society divided. Geert Wilders tried to justify what he had said by adding that he was only referring to criminal Moroccans and added that fellow politicians as well as the Dutch society are attacking him. He claimed that there is too much of a focus put on how something is said and not on the issue he is talking about.

International leaders gather in The Hague for Nuclear Security Summit

On 24 and 25 March 2014, the Netherlands welcomed 58 world leaders for the Nuclear Security Summit. The summit was focused on how to secure nuclear materials around the world and how to keep them out of the hands for terrorist groups, but inevitably was partly overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine.

In The Hague, many countries announced constructive action. Japan, for example, announced that it would turn over plutonium and highly enriched uranium to the United States. Italy and Belgium also pledged to reduce their stocks of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Since President Obama launched the initiative in 2010, 12 countries have completely eliminated their nuclear material stockpiles and 15 others have removed or disposed of portions of theirs.

Therefore, the number of countries that possess enough materials to build a nuclear weapon has fallen from 39 to 25. Besides, at the end of the summit, all 53 member countries signed a statement agreeing to keep looking for ways to protect nuclear material from terrorists. In addition, 35 countries agreed to enact international guidelines on nuclear security into their laws and committed to opening up their security procedures to independent review. However, Russia, China, India and Pakistan refused to sign.

During the first day of the summit, the United States, France, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan – known as the G7- also convened to talk about the situation in Ukraine. It was the first time since Russia joined the elite group – called the G8 from then on – that the Kremlin was not at the table.

After their meeting, the G7-countries released a statement denouncing the referendum in Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russia reacted dismissively, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the G8 ‘an informal club. It has no membership tickets, and it can’t purge anyone by definition.’

Murderer of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn to be released early

This week, the Dutch State Secretary of Security and Justice, Fred Teeven, announced the release on parole of Volkert van de Graaf. Van der Graaf is convicted of the murder of controversial politician Pim Fortuyn in May 2002 (see Dutch Report Oct 2013/1).

He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, but is eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence. Van der Graaf will be released on 2 May on the condition that he reports to a probation officer every week and that he stays away from Mr. Fortuyn’s relatives.

It is argued that Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom, has built on Fortuyn’s legacy and tough views on immigration and criticism of the political establishment.

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