Wilders claims 'witch-hunt'

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Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Thursday that any collaboration with the PVV of Geert Wilders has become impossible due to the PVV's standpoints. 

After a Summit Meeting in Brussels, Rutte told the press: "The VVD never excludes parties, also not the PVV, but it should be clear that as long as these standpoints are the standpoints of the PVV, that collaboration is not possible."

With collaboration, Rutte refers to the national level. Working together in Almere and The Hague has to be determined on the local level.

Rutte said that Wilders "crossed another border" on election evening, the nrc reports.

"In my conception, we should have a situation in which we never judge people on their origin, but on their future, not on their beliefs but on their behavior, and we never centralize the group, but always the individual. The rule of law counts for everyone."

Geert Wilders expressed his reaction to this on RTL Nieuws, in which he claims that a 'witch-hunt' is underway against him.

"What politics and the media are doing now in all their collective eagerness: that is hate-breeding and instigation, but then against the PVV."

Wilders has also mentioned that he is not going to change his point of view, and that he stands behind his comments.

This is the first time that Mark Rutte is taking such an pronounced distance from the PVV. He has always emphasized the non-exclusivity of the VVD. Rutte said on Wednesday that the comments of Wilders left him with a "bad taste in his mouth", but also said he "never" excludes parties. This received a lot of criticism on Thursday.

CDA-leader Sybrand Buma stated that Rutte should explicitly deny collaboration with the PVV. "It surprises me that the Prime Minister is always keeping a door open for him", Buma said in the tv-program Nieuwsuur. 

GroenLinks leader Bram van Ojik wants to have a debate with Rutte about the issue next week, together with other fraction leaders. He told the NOS that he sent a mail to other fraction leaders in which he says that cold shivers that ran down his spine at the images of Wilders who let his supporters chant their dislike of Moroccans.