Australia is willing to issue a visa to populist Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Immigration Minster Chris Bowen said in a radio interview that he had thought long and hard about the decision.
The Freedom Party leader was due to visit Australia later this month to give two speeches at the invitation of an anti-Islam group. On Monday, Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported he had delayed his trip because his visa application was taking so long to process.
Bowen told Australian broadcaster ABC that the visa decision had taken so long because 'we had to find a balance between our freedom of expression and his rather extreme views'. He went on to describe Wilders as a ‘provocateur’ who would “like nothing more than to be denied entry to Australia and garner his cause more attention” .
Wilders was originally invited to speak in Sydney and Melbourne but the organisers say there has been so much interest they are now planning a third lecture in Perth.