Left- and right wing parties clashed fiercely over the retirement age, healthcare deductibles and the Dutch identity in the televised debate between eight party leaders in the Carré in Amsterdam on Sunday. With only 9 days to go until the parliamentary election, party leaders are pressured to create some movement in the polls, which have been quiet over the past weeks.
While it is annoying for the media and the political and social debate, politicians like Geert Wilders have every right to withdraw from debates or refuse to be interviewed, Marcel Gelauff, chairman of the Dutch society of Chief Editors, said to the Telegraaf. This follows PVV leader Geert Wilders withdrawing from two election debates and refusing to meet with editors to discuss how he and journalists can get along.
PVV leader Geert Wilders withdrew from another election debate arranged by broadcaster RTL after RTL Nieuws had an interview with Wilders' brother Paul. Last week Wilders already withdrew from the Premier debate on February 26th, now he will also not be taking part in the Carré debate on March 5th. According to him, he is withdrawing because RTL "got his family involved with the campaign", he said on Twitter.
"What unbelievably vile scum RTL is to involve my family in the campaign. Disgusting", Wilders said on Twitter.