by Max Jewell
|Image source: welt.de|
While writing his autobiography, ‘Marked for Death’, Geert Wilders probably wouldn’t have expected the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to feature on the list of people wishing him harm. Yet, following the collapse of Rutte’s government on Monday, after the unofficial coalition partners in Wilders' PVV (Party for Freedom) stormed out of austerity talks, one wouldn’t be at all surprised if Rutte wasn’t at least a little irked by the obdurate Wilders. Yet what is to become of the Netherlands now the government has fully atrophied and the country has been impelled into an election?
What is almost certain is that Geert Wilder’s brand of ‘Islamoscepticism’ is on the rise in the Netherlands. Indeed it is even more likely that the PVV will, once again, hold the balance of power in the Staten Generaal after the election in a manner akin to their phenomenal electoral performance in 2010 which saw them win 16% of the vote and 24 seats. These gains were seemingly perpetuated in 2011 when the Partij voor de Vrijheid won a preponderance of seats in the provinces, rising from 0 to 69 thus representing the highest gains of any party, eviscerating the ruling VVD.
The prognosis is certainly good for Wilders.
He is buoyed by a discernible anti-"Islamicist" sentiment coursing through the veins of the Dutch political system (augmented by the murder of politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 and film director Theo van Gogh in 2004). He is also the man who occluded the proposals to cut 16bn from the budget on the grounds that it would dampen growth and ‘hurt pensioners’ Wilders could benefit from the equally powerful anti-austerity movement in Europe that could cost Sarkozy his job and maybe even threaten Merkel's.
Could ‘Captain Peroxide’ soon be in command of the