by WorldTribune Staff, March 14, 2017
In a heated debate with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on March 13, Dutch populist leader Geert Wilders said “we need to choose for our own people … and not for the asylum seekers.”
“You are not the prime minister of the Netherlands, but of the foreigners,” Wilders said of Rutte.
The debate was televised live on Dutch TV and came two days before parliamentary elections.
Rutte said Wilders’ plan to close borders and mosques and ban the Koran were “fake solutions.”
“While we are focusing on the causes of the refugee crisis, you’re wasting all your attention on your Koran police,” Rutte said.
Wilders also accused Rutte of trying to create panic over Brexit, saying the UK was “doing better than the rest.”
Rutte said Wilders was using “voodoo numbers” on immigration and again ruled out forming a coalition with Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV).
A survey found Rutte’s pro-business People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) on track to win 27 seats in the 150-seat parliament, with 18 percent of the vote, while Wilders’ PVV was in second place with 16 percent, or 24 seats – an increase of two seats, the Independent reported on March 13.
Rutte and Wilders have each appeared “to have received a boost from Dutch voters anxious about immigration amid simmering Dutch-Turkish tensions,” the report said.
Wilders on March 13 repeated his calls for the Turkish ambassador to be deported over an ongoing diplomatic dispute with Ankara.