Dutch Health Min. willing to work with Wilders; PM Rutte refuses

Edith Schippers (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commonst)Edith Schippers (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commonst)

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health does not agree with fellow VVD member and Prime Minister Mark Rutte that the PVV should be excluded from coalition cooperation as long as Geert Wilders does not take back his his contentious statements calling for fewer Moroccans in the Hague, she said in an interview with the Volkskrant on Wednesday.

She is referring to Wilders promising less Moroccans living in Dutch cities during the campaign for the municipal elections in 2014. This resulted in his supporters chanting "less, less, less" in a cafe in The Hague. Wilders is now facing a hate speech trial for this statement. Prime Minister Rutte feels that Wilders' statements are reason enough to exclude the PVV from coalition cooperation in the future, unless he takes it back.

Schippers ha other thoughts on the matter. "For me requirements are about content. Can you govern a country or can you not? I find that I have to sit down with everyone. Everybody makes his own choice. If you work in a political field with 10 parties, you can not exclude anyone. And I don't do that either", she said to the newspaper. "I am not the VVD, I am not the VVD leader. You ask me what I think about it. That is what I think."

She added that as minister she worked "very pleasantly" with the PVV, but thinks the chance of forming a coalition with them is small. "If he PVV wants us to leave the EU, back to the guilder, slam the borders closed and double the cost of care, then you can obviously not govern together."