Could Wilders Win? Dutch Firebrand Would Dump EU, Cut Islamic Immigration
Mar 15 2017 by Harriet Stone
Wilders has pledged to take the Netherlands out of the European Union, close all mosques, ban Muslim's holy book, the Quran, and close the borders to immigrants from Muslim countries.
But Mr Wilders said Nexit would be the "best that that could happen to us".
Despite Wilders' still significant support, the race has tightened in recent weeks.
It reportedly takes an average of three months to form a coalition, but observers say it may take longer with four or even five parties needed to reach the 76-seat majority.
Mr. Wilders has also been extremely vocal on the ongoing diplomatic spat between the Netherlands and Turkey, over the presence of Turkish ministers in the country for campaign rallies.
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Mr Wilders said at the debate that Mr Rutte should have immediately expelled the Turkish ambassador.
The Dutch national elections, however, could see a return to bullion.
"We need to chose for our own people, for our own parents, and not for the asylum seekers", Wilders said.
Dutch campaign posters are seen in front of a windmill in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Even if Wilders succeeds in winning the vote, the far-right leader most likely won't be heading the Dutch government any time soon.
Mr Rutte has repeatedly stated they "will not work together".
"We will never negotiate under threats by the Turkish government", Rutte, who faces a parliamentary election on Wednesday, told the media in a press conference in Rotterdam. Not surprisingly, the government's stance has been extremely popular, making it hard for Wilders to get traction on what would otherwise be a good issue for him. The forces of dissatisfaction with the political elite and outright xenophobia that have fueled Wilders' rise are not confined to the Netherlands; nor will they dissipate after the election.
The tide appears to have turned against populist Mr Wilders, as he slowly lost the clear lead he was enjoying against defending leader Mark Rutte and his liberal party in the run-up to the vote. In January, for example, Rutte published a message in newspapers asking immigrants to "behave normally" or leave the country.
With the anti-Islam, far-right lawmaker Geert Wilders running just behind two-term right-wing Prime MinisterMark Rutte in polls, the Dutch vote could give an indication of whether the tide of populism that swept Britain toward the European Union exit door and Donald Trump into the White house has peaked. You want to push the Netherlands into chaos too.
And he said Mr Rutte was "scaremongering" as he accused the PM of saying previous year Britain was "almost disappearing off the face of the Earth", while the far-right politician pointed out "They're doing better than ever!" This year, a record number of parties are expected to win ten seats or more, which could drag on the process more.
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This amount of political uncertainty concerning how the Dutch and upcoming French and German elections will impact the euro has created renewed interest in gold as a risk-management asset.