Monday night's EenVandaag election debate between the leaders of the two largest parties in the polls, VVD leader Mark Rutte and PVV leader Geert Wilders, was exceptionally harsh. Accusations including "No one believes you anymore, Mr. Rutte!" and "Wilders walks away when things get difficult" were thrown about, RTL Nieuws reports.
Geert Wilders has a strong chance of coming out on top following elections, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in Rotterdam on Monday. Rutte repeated comments he made during a televised interview last week, when he told of going asleep on June 23 thinking Brexit would be voted down, only to find out otherwise the next morning. He had a similar opinion of the November 8 election in the United States.
On Saturday party leaders Alexander Pechtold (D66), Sybrand Buma (CDA), Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA), Mark Rutte (VVD), Geert Wilders (PVV) and Emile Roemer (SP) debated policy, explained what topics they find important and played games on kids TV show NOS Jeugdjournaal.
The debate was done by means of a quartet. Each party leader could chose a theme and a topic, such as "healthcare" and "costs". And then they could briefly and simply explain what they find important on that topic.
American Republican Steve King, congressman for the state of Iowa, is facing social media outrage following a tweet in support of anti-Islam PVV leader Geert Wilders.
"Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny", King wrote on Twitter. "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." According to the BBC, King is a strong advocate of ending birthright citizenship, which gives all babies born in the United States citizenship to the country, even if their parents live there illegally.
PVV leader Geert Wilders and a number of candidate PVV parliamentarians are demonstrating in front of the Turkish Embassy in The Hague on Wednesday. Wilders is carrying a banner reading "Stay away! This is our country", ANP reports.
A number of anti-Islam group Pegida supporters are also in front of the embassy.The police closed down the street and many officers are present.
With just a week before the parliamentary election, anti-Islam, populist party PVV continues to lose support in the polls. The PVV dropped to between 21 and 25 seats on Peilingwijzer, putting the party clearly behind the VVD, which is at between 24 and 28 seats.
Over the past weeks the VVD has remained relatively stable on the polls, climbing one seat compared to last week. Put the PVV has steadily been losing support on Peilingwijzer, which combines the data of six different poll for a more rounded view.
An animal shelter in Zaandam canceled a work visit from PVV leader Geert Wilders on Thursday out of fear for the safety of their employees, a spokesperson for the PVV said. According to him, it has to do with an announced demonstration by anti-fascists, NOS reports.
A majority of 56 percent of Dutch voters would like to directly elect the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, according to a recent poll by Maurice de Hond.
39 percent of voters are against directly voting for a Prime Minister, and five percent don't have an opinion on the matter.
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.
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".
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold called a statement made by Limburg D66 State member Hans van Wageningen about PVV leader Geert Wilders "unwise". In an opinion piece posted on Twitter and in 1Limburg, Van Wageningen said that Wilders hopes for a terrorist attack in the Netherlands. "He hopes for an attack just before the election and that he'll be sitting plush in The Hague when the smoke clears", he said.
PVV leader Geert Wilders is resuming his party's public campaign for the upcoming parliamentary elections. "We are going into the country", he said on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.
According to Hans van Wageningen, D66 States member in Limburg, PVV leader Geert Wilders is hoping for a terrorist attack in the Netherlands shortly before the election on March 15th. "He hopes for an attack just before the election and that he'll be sitting plush in The Hague when the smoke clears", he said on Twitter on Wednesday night.
An elite team of soldiers was deployed to help protect PVV leader Geert Wilders, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday based on its own sources. According to the newspaper, members of the Defense team Special Security Missions Brigade (BSB) have been guarding the PVV leader for a few days already.
The Ministry of Security and Justice would not confirm these reports to the newspaper. The Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that forms part of the Dutch military, would also not comment on the matter. The BSB falls under the Koninklijke Marechaussee.
A float at the Dusseldorf carnival in Germany lined PVV leader Geert Wilders up with Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Adolf Hitler, with the words "Blond ist das neue Braun" - which translates to 'blonde is the new brown'.
The slogan seems to compare the three blonde nationalist politicians with the brown shirts Nazis wore under Hitler. "Ziek, sick, krank", Wilders tweeted in response.
Ziek. Sick. Krank. https://t.co/bFYQwQu9Uz
In an interview with German TV channel ARD, PVV leader Geert Wilders claimed that populist politician and LPF leader Pim Fortuyn was murdered by a Muslim extremist in 2012. This is not true. Fortuyn was killed by environmental activist Volkert van der G. On Twitter Wilders acknowledged that he misspoke, saying he was talking about Theo van Gogh's murder in 2004.
"Pim Fortuyn was addressing the problems that I am addressing now. Unfortunately he was killed and murdered by a radical Muslim", Wilders said in the interview, which was recorded on February 9th.
How suspected corrupt police officer Faris K. managed to get a job in the high ranking Safety and Security Service despite a previous integrity conviction, is leading to consternation in the police ranks. Considering the screening process necessary to join the Safety and Security Service, former Geert Wilders security guard Rico Briedjal thinks it was difficult, but possible, he said to newspaper AD Members of the Service are calling for stricter screenings.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver and SP leader Emile Roemer could not agree on whether the VVD should or should not be excluded from forming a new government after the parliamentary elections on March 15th. During the first televised debate for the upcoming elections, Roemer called on Klaver to clearly state whether GroenLinks and the VVD would form a coalition. Klaver said he can not rule out that possibility, AD reports.
Faris K., the police officer in the Safety and Security Service suspected of leaking information to a criminal gang, was previously also suspected of integrity violations, newspaper AD reports. Faris K. was investigated for leaking police information while he worked at the Utrecht police, colleagues of the suspected cop told the newspaper. The outcome of that investigation is unclear.
The Dutch nationalist and anti-Islam political party PVV has suspended all election campaigning and public appearances in the midst of a corruption scandal. The scandal involves a member of the security details of both the PVV and the royal family who was arrested on Monday for leaking classified information to organized crime figures.
Police chief Erik Akerboom said at no point was anyone's safety compromised despite allegations that security officer Faris K. is accused of leaking information to a Dutch-Moroccan gang.
There is no reason to believe that an information leak discovered in the Safety and Security Service of the police put any of the people under the Service's protection in danger, Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice wrote to parliament on Wednesday. The government is taking the matter "very seriously", Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, ANP reports.
Geert Wilders and his PVV is continuing to steadily lose support in the polls. In the Peilingwijzer published on Wednesday the PVV and the VVD are about equally large The PVV stands between 24 and 28 parliamentary seats, the VVD between 23 and 27.
Last week the PVV stood at between 25 and 29 seats. Since December the party lost six seats in the polls. The VVD has been on basically the same position for weeks.
In its annual report Amnesty International is sounding the alarm about the rise of populism across the world and the implications it has for human rights. According to the human rights organization, the situation deteriorated significantly over 2016, and that can be attributed political forces rebelling against the established order. Also in the Netherlands populism is a rising problem, the organization said in a brief press conference about the report, NOS reports.
A police officer was arrested on Monday on suspicion of leaking investigation information to a Moroccan-Dutch criminal organization, NRC reports. According to the newspaper, the officer in question is of Moroccan descent and works at the so-called Safety and Security Department, tasked with providing security to the royal family and threatened politicians like Geert Wilders, among others.