AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch anti-Islam, anti-EU populist politician Geert Wilders looks set to become the Netherlands’s next prime minister after his Freedom Party (PVV) was leading exit polls in a parliamentary election on Wednesday.
Following is some of the initial reaction.
HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR ORBAN:
“The winds of change are here! Congratulations to Geert Wilders on winning the Dutch elections!”
FRENCH FAR-RIGHT LEADER MARINE LE PEN:
“Congratulations to Geerts Wilders and the PVV for their spectacular performance in the legislative elections which confirms the growing attachment to the defence of national identities.
“It is because there are people who refuse to see the national torch extinguished that the hope for change remains alive in Europe.”
BELGIAN FAR-RIGHT LEADER TOM VAN GRIEKEN:
“I would like to congratulate Geert Wilders on this victory. It is clear: the population is yearning for real change. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in Flanders. Parties like ours are coming all over Europe!”
SPANISH FAR-RIGHT LEADER SANTIAGO ABASCAL:
“More and more Europeans demand in the streets and at the polls that their nations, their borders and their rights be defended.”
ITALIAN FAR-RIGHT LEADER MATTEO SALVINI:
“Congratulations to our friend Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV and historic ally of the League, for this extraordinary electoral victory. A new Europe is possible.”
HABIB EL KADDOURI, HEAD OF DUTCH ORGANISATION REPRESENTING DUTCH MOROCCANS
“The distress and fear are enormous.
“Wilders is known for his ideas about Muslims and Moroccans. We are afraid that he will portray us as second-class citizens.”
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH NETHERLANDS, INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF GRASSROOTS ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANISATIONS:
“A Wilders government will mean four years of climate change denial, exclusion and a breakdown of the rule of law.”
LABOUR/GREEN LEFT LEADER FRANS TIMMERMANS:
“Democracy has spoken, now it’s time for us to defend democracy, to defend the rule of law. We have to make a fist against exclusion, against discrimination.”
CONSERVATIVE, PRO-BUSINESS VVD PARTY LEADER DILAN YESILGOZ:
“It is up to Wilders to show he can form a majority. I don’t see it happening.”
(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout and Bart Meijer; additional reporting by John Irish in Paris; Editing by Jamie Freed)