Politicians in The Hague grapple with Wilders’ visit to a resident evening on refugees

Geert Wilders’ visit to Kijkduin attracted the reaction of possible coalition partners NSC and BBB. The winner of the election attended a meeting this evening where residents protested the arrival of refugees.

NSC boss Pieter Omtzigt described the visit as “special” but also believes Wilders is free to go wherever he wants. BBB’s Caroline van der Plas says: “I personally wouldn’t do this. “I say let’s focus on this discovery.”

Between 100 and 120 refugees have been staying in a hotel in Kijkduin since this weekend because accommodation in Ter Apel is full. The Hague municipality is organizing an information event this evening. Wilders went there to, in his words, “encourage” the locals.

The PVV leader could not enter for security reasons. He briefly showed his face at the entrance. In his meeting with the press, he once again emphasized that he was in favor of stopping asylum seekers and that people would be flooded with refugees. “I will support you in good times and bad,” he told one resident.

Attending the residents’ evening may be under the spotlight, but Wilders told Nieuwsuur that he has been attending such gatherings for years. “I thought it would be very cowardly if I didn’t do this after the elections.”

“Not a party-political circus”

The mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, says Wilders’ showing of determination would be welcome, but he also emphasizes that Kijkduin is “not a place for a party-political circus.”

Unlike Wilders, Van Zanen was able to attend the meeting indoors. He believes he should help meet his community’s urgent housing needs. “Despite last week’s election results, these people shouldn’t be sleeping on the lawn.”

Wilders gave a short speech to the press at the entrance of the residents’ meeting:

PVV won last week’s election, so Wilders appears to have taken the lead in the lineup. Tomorrow Ronald Plasterk starts his duty as a scout. He will hold meetings with leaders of all parties.

A coalition of PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB is an obvious choice, Plasterk wrote in a recent column. VVD party leader Dilan Yeşilgöz said last week that he did not want to be in power but was ready to provide tolerant support.

NSC and BBB are not the only potential coalition partners criticizing Wilders’ visit to Kijkduin; CDA boss Henri Bontenbal describes the action as “disturbing” and “somewhat polarizing”. PvdD party leader Esther Ouwehand: “This does not necessarily mean that you want to be the prime minister of all the Dutch people.”

Source: NOS