Wilders to press discrimination charges against PM Rutte

rutte and wilders
Mark Rutte and Geert Wilders (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Russavia). (Mark Rutte and Geert Wilders (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Russavia))

PVV leader Geert Wilders announced that he is pressing discrimination charges against Prime Minister Mark Rutte. According to Wilders, Rutte and his government are significantly discriminating against "ordinary Dutch", he said to broadcaster NOS.

"For example, asylum seekers receive a lot for free, free health insurance and no deductible... but Dutch have to pay that. Foreign companies also get all kinds of advantages and Dutch people get a VAT increase on their groceries. That is simply discrimination, but then of the Dutch and the Prime Minister is responsible for that", Wilders said to the broadcaster. 

On Monday afternoon the PVV launched on which Wilders calls on Dutch to support his charges against Rutte. "I say: enough is enough. We are treated as second class citizens in our own country. The politicians think of everyone except Dutch. If someone in the Netherlands is treated unjustly, it is the Dutch man himself. There are countless examples of this", Wilders says on the site. 

The website lists dozens of examples on how Wilders believes Rutte is discriminating against the Dutch, the vast majority of which has to do with asylum seekers, immigrants and Islam. Wilders wants Dutch people who are unhappy about the government policy to list more examples of how they're being discriminated against on the site. He hopes for thousands of responses, according to NOS. 

This is the third time the PVV is launching such a site. In 2012 the party launched a reporting point against Polish people and late in 2015, when the refugee crisis reached its peak, the party called on people to report problems caused by asylum seekers. 

The PVV leader does not think pressing discrimination charges against the Prime Minister is going too far, he said to NOS. "I did it in the royal way, in the Tweede Kamer I addressed Rutte directly. He did not care about that and in the Kamer I cannot force him to do so. I am now going to report this and then we do it in two ways: via the Kamer and via Justice." Wilders added that he is not out to get Rutte arrested. "I'm not going to call: 'lock him up!', but 'stop the discrimination against Dutch'. If we can tackle Rutte on that in whatever way, the we certainly must not let it lie."

For these charges to have any chance of success, the declaration itself must be a lot more concrete, Henny Sackers, criminal justice expert at Radboud University in Nijmegen, said to RTL Nieuws. "Rutte can not be personally prosecuted for general government policy. It therefore must involve a concrete expression by Rutte himself, so: Rutte said this, at this time at this place."

Wilders himself is for in the Netherlands while campaigning in the Hague in 2014. He said that The Hague should be a city with fewer problems, and "if possible, fewer Moroccans". He also asked a cafe full of people whether they want more or fewer Moroccans in The Hague, to which his followers responded by chanting "fewer, fewer, fewer". Wilders then said he would arrange that. On December 9th last year  of insulting a group of people and inciting discrimination. The court decided not to impose a punishment on him. Both Wilders and the Public Prosecutor appealed.  

This is not the first time that a political party tries to get Rutte prosecuted, according to RTL. In 2015 then VNL leader Bram Moszkowicz pressed charges against Rutte to try and put an end to the asylum policy. The Public Prosecutor declared the charges against Rutte and the State "inadmissible" and did not prosecute. According to the Prosector, it does not have the authority to prosecute Rutte because he acts on behalf of the government.