Opposing Islam central tenet of Dutch Freedom Party

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The last Dutch party to present its election manifesto, the anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV) headed by Geert Wilders, has said it will focus on "more security and less immigration". The manifesto was published on Friday in The Hague, ahead of the national elections on 9 June.

The right-wing populist party leader repeated his party's well-known slogans. Mr Wilders wants to achieve "more security" by recruiting an additional 10,000 policemen. "Less immigration" should be realised by imposing an annual quota of 1,000 on asylum seekers, and a ban on immigration from Muslim countries. Non-Dutch residents who commit a crime should be extradited, in the PVV's view. Earlier proposals, such as a headscarf tax and a ban on burqas and the Qur'an are repeated in the manifesto. The party has been in opposition since it entered parliament in 2006.

Referring to the economic crisis affecting the Netherlands, the Freedom Party is proposing drastic cuts. Mr Wilders expects to be able to save 21,000 million euros. His main targets are what he refers to as "left-wing hobbies". Development aid, for instance, should be limited to emergency aid. Drastic cuts are suggested in contributions to the EU budget, and in defence spending. Child support paid to parents whose children do not live in the Netherlands should be cut, and the number of public broadcast channels should be minimised.

The Freedom Party wants to make Dutch foreign policy subservient to the Netherlands' interest, to the exclusion of other considerations. Fighting Islam should be a central tenet, the Freedom Party election manifesto says. The Netherlands should be less involved in international military missions, and the savings which that yields can be transferred to the national police, to fight what the party calls "Moroccan street terrorists" in the Netherlands. The PVV also says that the Netherlands should leave the European Union if Turkey becomes a member state. Another remarkable point is the plan to refer to Jordan as Palestina, because, says the PVV, that country has been the de facto independent Palestinian state since 1946.

The left is out
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders said his party is ready to govern. But should that fail to happen, his party is willing to support a minority coalition, preferably of the Christian Democrat and Conservative parties. Collabaration with any left-wing parties is an anathema to the PVV.


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