Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party PVV and the maker of Fitna, a controversial movie about the Koran, is back in the Netherlands after a two-week vacation in Las Vegas. In an interview published today in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, the largest newspaper in the Netherlands, Wilders said that his party will stand for election in the 2009 European elections and must consider allying itself with like-minded European parties. He also called for a reunification of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Wilders went to Vegas, but not to gamble. The 44-year old politician told De Telegraaf he only spent 10 dollars in a casino. He asked the local police if he could join them on their patrols, and he did. Wilders is very impressed by the LVPD. Apparently, the feeling was reciprocal. The policemen had seen Fitna and liked it a lot. They told Wilders: “You should run for president here!”
The politician said he is happy with the way Fitna was received in the Netherlands. “I do not seek controversy, I want to foster debate. […] Nor was I looking for electoral gain. I knew the movie would lead to a lot of personal and political misery. But I have a mission! I felt I had to do this. […] A politician must lead. We are the most critical voice on immigration, Islam and integration issues [in the Netherlands}, we defend the average Dutchman.”
He told the paper that multiculturalism does not work. He referred to neighbouring Belgium as an example. Belgium is a country made up of 6 million Dutch-speaking Flemings in Flanders, the northern half of the country, and 4 million French-speaking Walloons in Wallonia, the southern half. Belgium was part of the Netherlands until 1830, when a revolution instigated by Walloons and French agents tore the country apart. The revolutionaries occupied Flanders, too. The Flemings have always been second-class citizens in Belgium and are still politically underrepresented. The current Belgian government has more French-speaking members of cabinet than Flemish. Wilders said he is in favour of reuniting Flanders and the Netherlands.
“Belgium has been in crisis for months,” Wilders said. “They have a government now but another crisis has erupted. It is a shambles. […] I would be very much in favour of trying to find out how Flanders and the Netherlands could merge. […] The momentum is there. […] We have more in common with the Flemings than the Flemings with the Walloons. It would only be logical to unite Flanders and the Netherlands. We have to put this before the Flemings and the Dutch in a referendum. I hope that [Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter] Balkenende will seriously consider this.”
Wilders emphasized that he has no contacts with the Vlaams Belang, the major party in the Flemish regional parliament. The VB wants to dissolve Belgium and establish an independent Flemish Republic, though some of its members favour reunification with the Netherlands. The VB is also the most outspoken anti-Islamisation party in Belgium.
“I have no contacts with Vlaams Belang,” Wilders said. “I have no contacts with foreign parties whatsoever. But we will have to establish them with regard to the European elections next year. […] We are trying to decide which European group to join. This is not an easy exercise. However, we want to have nothing to do with the Mussolinis and Le Pen and others like them.”
Wilders is opposed to the project of establishing the European Union as a super state. He said his party wants to stand for the European elections in order to help abolish the European Parliament from within.