Finance Minister: Wilders' statements "poisonous to society"

PvdA Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem thinks that PVV leader Geert Wilders and his discriminatory statements poison the atmosphere in Dutch society, he said to broadcaster BNR on Thursday.

Dijsselbloem was responding to German President Jaochim Gauck expressing his concerns about the Netherlands in the Telegraaf. Gauck said that nationalism can now be seen in most of the founding countries of the European Union. He called the movement a "poison" and "infection". 

The current Finance Minister agrees with this sentiment. "Poisoning is a good word for the atmosphere which is determined by the statements made by Wilders", he said to the broadcaster. "The atmosphere in which he designates entire population groups as the problem, and the atmosphere in which you take away religious freedom, that is really poisonous to society. I think that's absolutely right."

Dijsselbloem also said that he will not stay on as minister if the PvdA is not part of the next government. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold suggested that such a variant may be possible, should Dijsselbloem wish to remain president of the Eurogroup. "I am not available for Pechtold's variant. I'm not going to take responsibility for a government policy that perhaps is just right wing just to keep my job in Brussels. That I'll never do."