Geert Wilders sees European elections chance


Geert Wilders on bringing down the EU

It is easy to forget sitting in an elegant meeting room in the Dutch parliament that, to many people, Geert Wilders is an outcast, a politician beyond the mainstream. And then there are the reminders.

For reasons of security, the curtains have to be closed during the interview and Mr Wilders recounts how a magazine has placed him in fourth position on an al-Qaeda hit list. It is to underline that he has been more outspoken about Islam that almost any other European politician.

But Geert Wilders senses this is his moment, that the next six months may deliver his best chance to become a European player and not just an agitator. All his energies are focused on the European elections in May. For the forthcoming campaign he has already announced an anti-establishment alliance with Marine Le Pen's National Front in France. Both leaders are currently ahead in many polls. Their dream is that European voters, seething with discontent, will deliver a massive protest vote against Brussels and the political establishment.

Start Quote

I would like the Netherlands to leave the European Union”

End Quote Geert Wilders

I asked Geert Wilders whether he wanted to bring down the European Union. "Yes, as a matter of fact I do," he replied, "in a way that I would like the Netherlands to leave the European Union."

Geert Wilders, who leads the Dutch Freedom Party and Marine Le Pen, head of the French National Front, recently launched what they called an "historic alliance" for the European Parliament elections in 2014

He believes that democracy can only exist in a nation state and Europe is not a nation state so he wants to bring down Europe and restore the nation state and democracy. So he finds himself campaigning for a parliament that he wishes to undermine. He takes issue with my word "undermine" as being too negative but concedes he wants nothing to do with institutions like the European Commission. He does not want to reform the EU but to replace it with nation states set free from the shackles of Brussels.

So why should people vote for him? I ask. "To fight against the European monster," he says, which, in his view, "only wants more power". His hope is that his alliance will become one of the biggest parties in Europe next May and that this will signal a new reality in European politics. It would be very surprising, however, if these anti-establishment parties got more than 30% of the votes in the European elections and there are many divisions between them.

I point out to Mr Wilders that Nigel Farage, the leading eurosceptic in the UK, has shunned his new alliance. He expresses his respect for Mr Farage and hopes that after the elections things will change. I point out it is because the UKIP leader thinks his party might be extreme. He answers that he has been ahead in the Dutch polls for over half a year and that the Netherlands is a tolerant country, so it follows that he cannot be extreme.

'Stay home'

At the centre of his campaign will be immigration. His message to those Bulgarians and Romanians planning to take advantage of the freedom to travel and work anywhere in the EU after 1 January is to "stay home". He thinks it crazy that when his country has more than 700,000 unemployed, outsiders are being invited in to work.

Start Quote

I believe there is no place for Islam in our continent”

End Quote Geert Wilders

The day before I visited Mr Wilders he had proposed a resolution that the government should not allow workers from Romania and Bulgaria to enter the Netherlands from 1 January. Some 80% of the MPs in the Lower House had voted against the resolution but he maintained that polls showed that 80% of the Dutch electorate wanted the restrictions to continue. He dismissed UK Prime Minister David Cameron's moves as "too little too late". "People will come anyway," he said. He wants them to be prevented from working whilst there is an economic crisis. If, in the months ahead, many people do migrate from Bulgaria and Romania, this may prove his strongest card at the polls.

Geert Wilders is a conviction politician. He says he will continue to say what he believes to be right and he will never break. He repeats his criticism of Islam. Yes, he says, the majority of Muslims in the UK and the Netherlands are "law-abiding people whose concern is to have a good life, a good education for their children and a good job and I have nothing against them" but "yes, I believe Islam is a fascist ideology... and yes I believe there is no place for Islam in our continent".

I say that many people would say his comments could stoke up tensions between communities. "I'm staying away from anything," he says "that has to do with stirring up anything."

His critics denounce him as a xenophobe and a nationalist. He replies that he is a patriot. In the past he has proved a magnet for the discontented. At the last election in the Netherlands, however, he fared poorly. This time round he is calculating that a sluggish economy, resentment at bailing out other eurozone countries and disillusionment with the European project will turn voters his way. In the months ahead, European officials will denounce him as a wrecker, a politician who is bent on tearing up more than 50 years of European achievements. Political leaders in Europe are gearing up to raise the stakes in these elections. They will cast them as about the future of the continent.

Gavin Hewitt Article written by Gavin Hewitt Gavin Hewitt Europe editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 755.

    745 Atomic

    "American citizenship is the best gift they could bestow their child"

    So what's the fence there for then?

    "Last year 10,000+ Chinese came to the US to have their baby be born in American soil"

    No doubt they are the advance party for when the Chinese take over your country when you are unable to repay your debts to them

  • rate this

    Comment number 754.

    margaret howard
    All the so-called "anti-racists" justifying the continuing imposition of group-destroying mass immigration and social engineering on white Europeans never mention that non-white groups have done their fair share of invading and colonising, even of white Europeans.

    Double-standards indeed!

  • Comment number 753.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 752.

    741. quietoaktree

    "Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
    Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst"
    Ahhh three wife's on your lap,but, all that glitters is not gold.
    Three mother` in law on your case to make one premature old.

  • rate this

    Comment number 751.

    #744 SJH

    --I know Britain well --attempting to sell me ´a pig in a poke´ is intellectually questionable

    --social cohesion et al ?

    --My question was from experience and honest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 750.


    In other words, anyone that disagrees with you is racist?

    - (I will use your silly hyphen) You have been blogging on here all day and you are still talking nonsense. Have a break.

    @747.Bob Smythes

    '''s lonely at the top I guess..''

    Wow, someone more deluded than the oaktree...

  • rate this

    Comment number 749.

    All those bleating about non-white mass immigration seem to have forgotten that until recent history it was the white Europeans who invaded and took over non-white countries.

    First America and Canada, then Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Africa followed with the people still trying to recover from the white onslaught.

    Ever wondered why English usurped their own native languages?

  • rate this

    Comment number 748.


    What is traditionally British ?
    The British people.

    You know, the ones who`ve had decades of massive immigration and expensive social engineering forced down their throats by the British Establishment in the name of "Tolerance" and "Human rights" without open discussion.

    Curiously, the same thing is being done in Europe, USA, NZ, AUS.

    It`s an anti-white thing.

  • Comment number 747.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 746.

    One thing is clear

    - Many of this blogs contributors are not colour blind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 745.

    738. margaret howard
    Is that why you built a fence across the Mexican borders to keep their people out?
    It's the most frequently crossed border in the world. Millions cross for a better life. Last year 10,000+ Chinese came to the US to have their baby be born in American soil. To them, American citizenship is the best gift they could bestow their child. Anti-immigrant EU not even on their radar

  • rate this

    Comment number 744.

    741 quietoaktree

    Christianity, English language, a mono culture with an overarching set of values, equality before the law, freedom of speech, social cohesion. There are any others.

    They are not all peculiarly British but were all safely rooted in Britain until recently. They are all now in varying degrees under attack from the liberal left and their useful idiots and fellow travelers.

  • Comment number 743.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 742.

    Dear Bob at no.720 Do you really want to play the facts and stats game? Just a couple of clicks at your fingertips to get the answers. Is it just a coincidence that this problem is Europe wide with everyone citing the same problems? If people are afraid then surely we should ask why? We are ready to listen to reformed gangsters but not somebody who has hurt nobody.

  • rate this

    Comment number 741.

    #734 SJH

    "But try defending anything traditionally British and you are a xenophobe, imperialist and of course, the old favourite, a racist" ?

    What is traditionally British ?

    "Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
    Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst" ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 740.

    Multi-culturism is the direct opposite of integration.

    Multi-racial ditto.


    Do you support the Chinese attempts to wipe out the Tibetans (which has been called genocide by Hillary Clinton) using mass immigration and forced integration?

    If not, why is it OK for white Europeans?

  • rate this

    Comment number 739.

    I doubt Geert Wilders truly believes half of what he says. All he wants to do is gain Political Power. Not too the point of gaining control of the Netherlands or even to the point of becoming the main opposition party, just enough to keep the media interested and to assemble small angry crowds.

    Wasted life.

  • rate this

    Comment number 738.

    693 Atomic

    "They think that the EU is like the US - a land where (legal) immigrants are welcomed"

    Is that why you built a fence across the Mexican borders to keep their people out?

    Where killers of coloured people walk free and where the majority of the 2,200,000 people behind bars (that's 25 % of the world's incarcerated population) are ethnic minorities?

  • rate this

    Comment number 737.

    720.Bob Smythes
    Well, another disappointing HYS in which none has managed to convince me why I should support Messrs Wilders or Farage or indeed oppose the EU.

    Difficult to teach the deaf to hear or the blind to see.

    Bob, me old son, no-one is going to bother discussing the merits of secession with those whose mind is closed, ears stopped & their decision made.

    Let's just have a vote on it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 736.

    Multi-culturism is the direct opposite of integration.

    Multi-racial ditto.


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