Christian Democrat statesman sounds Wilders alarm

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The Christian Democrats (CDA) must no longer allow themselves to be humiliated by Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders and should speak out strongly against his ideas, says a veteran CDA politician.

Willem Aantjes made the statement in an interview with news site NU.nl. His party is junior partner to the conservative VVD in a minority cabinet which is dependent on the Freedom Party’s support in parliament.

"Look at how Wilders humiliates us day in and day out. It really upsets me. If Wilders tells the CDA to tone it down, then that’s exactly what the CDA does,” says the first-ever CDA leader.

Aantjes, one of the founders of the CDA in the 1970s, wants his party to put Wilders in his place. “We must tell Wilders it is time he shut his mouth.”

Opinion polls fear
Aantjes says his party is afraid to make a stand because it has just 21 seats in parliament and the persistently disappointing results in the opinion polls.

"I hear people say: ‘We have to realise that we are the smallest of the three [governing parties] and that we are not really doing all that well in the opinion polls.’ If that’s our approach, things will only get worse.”

The veteran CDA politician hopes the party's ministers and MPs will not give in during the upcoming negotiations on additional budget cuts.

"The first battle will be fought in the cabinet and it’s going to be a tough one. Our ministers have all expressed strong support for this coalition. I have more faith in our MPs than in our ministers.”


(gsh/jn/imm)

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