Anti-Moroccan hate speech isolates PVV: report

Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders

The parliamentary influence of Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) has reached its low point since March 2014. Throughout the last year, only nine motions by PVV were accepted, just three percent of the motions submitted by the party, according to a Trouw newspaper analysis of data from parliament.

PVV leader Geert Wilders rallying call for "fewer Moroccans" in the Hague reduced support for PVV's proposals in the lower house of Parliament to a minimum, says the analysis. Wilders also referred to the problem of "Moroccan scum" following the election night rally.

He is expected to be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred for both events. He never walked back either comment, saying he was speaking the truth, and even invoking the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. in his defense.

The seemingly all-consuming anti-Islam stance of the PVV led to an exodus of party members last year. Two more provincial PVV councillors, Matthijs Jansen from Groningen and Marc van Kampen from Gelderland resigned from the party in the last two weeks because of its extremist right-wing position on Islam, immigration and foreign aid. Jansen also remarked that the party has abandoned the economic issues that were a core value to the PVV ten years ago, instead focusing attention on Islam.

Both will join the new nationalist party Voor Nederland, or VNL, formed by former PVV parliamentarians Louis Bontes and Joram van Klaveren.

Wilders' speech not only caused dissent in his own party, but alienated the other parties in the government as well. PvdA and 50Plus decided to no longer file joint motions with PVV. The Socialist Party (SP) also shut the party out, and current relations between PVV and others chilled as well.

A year's average of joint motions from PVV with another party is usually 83, but last year the number reduced to 42.

Before March 2014, no party in the Second Chamber had fundamental objections to file motions with PVV and all the parties regularly submitted proposals with an MP from PVV, the newspaper said. The collaboration was big with VVD and CDA from 2010 to 2012 when PVV was a tolerated partner propping up the minority government. In those years, the upper house of Parliament, the Eerste Kamer, accepted more PVV motions than before or after.

In comparison, the support for SP's motions in 2014 was 12 percent and 23 percent support for CDA's motions.

With additional reporting by Zack Newmark