Netherlands: Wilders acts up in Parliament
23 September 2011
After two days of heated debate in the National Assembly, De Volkskrant notes that “Geert Wilders is undermining the authority of Mark Rutte,” the Liberal Prime Minister. “Through a series of incessant provocations directed at the opposition, at the Greeks, at Islam and at the Prime Minister himself, the leader of the PVV has created the greatest indignation among both friends and enemies,” writes the daily. Wilders has called Job Cohen, the leader of the Labour opposition, a “poodle of the government,” mosques “palaces of hatred”, and the Greeks “crooks”. Mark Rutte said he was “extremely frustrated” by the way Wilders' comments have dominated the 2012 budget debate “while we are in crisis [economic].” The opposition believes that Wilders “is putting the reputation of the Netherlands at stake”. The object of this scorn himself, however, considers his critics “hypocrites”, since for years he has been treated as “extremist, racist and xenophobic” by Parliament.
“The minority government should raise the question of whether political cooperation [minority coalition with the parliamentary support of the PVV] can or should still be pursued," writes Trouw. De Volkskrant, for its part, asks Rutte to demonstrate “strong moral leadership and not let Wilders's behaviour get under his skin or that of his government.”