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EUobserver / Netherlands embraces far right in EU elections

The Dutch far-right Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders made the greatest leap forward in the country's EU elections on Thursday (4 June), with 16.9 percent in exit polls. But the ruling conservatives came top overall.

The result is a major victory for the openly anti-Islamic party, giving it four seats in the European legislature and a possibility that this could rise to five once the final count is completed.

Neo-nazi youth look on as Geert Wilders campaigns in Leeuwarden, Netherlands

The Freedom Party came second only to the ruling Christian Democrats (CDA) of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, which exit polls suggest will win 20 percent of the vote or five of the 25 seats up for grabs.

This is a fall of four percent from the last European elections in 2004, resulting in the loss of two MEPs for the party.

by Fran on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 01:29:29 PM EST
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Flight to the Fringes: Wilders Big Winner of Dutch EU Elections - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Populist Dutch politician Geert Wilders' right-wing party scored big in European elections held in the Netherlands on Thursday. The Party for Freedom is now the second largest Dutch party in Brussels, with the far left having made gains as well.

 Geert Wilders (left) celebrates the European election results with his party colleague Barry Madlener on Thursday night. Geert Wilders and his populist Party for Freedom (PVV) appeared to be the big winners of Thursday's elections for European Parliament in the Netherlands. Exit polls released soon after the Dutch voting stations closed at 9 p.m. on Thursday evening predicted he would get four of the 25 Dutch seats in the European Parliament, making the PVV the second largest of all Dutch parties in Brussels.

Wilders, who has become popular in the Netherlands running on an anti-Islam and anti-political establishment platform, promised voters he would be tough on immigration and criticized Turkey's bid to join the EU. "Should Turkey as an Islamic country be able to join the European Union? We are the only party in Holland that says, it is an Islamic country, so no, not in 10 years, not in a million years," Wilders said.

by Fran on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 01:31:45 PM EST
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The other party in the Netherlands to be strengthened in the Thursday vote is the left-wing liberal -- and most outspokenly pro-European party in the Netherlands -- D66. It grew from one to three seats in the European parliament. The boost for these two parties showed that Dutch voters are moving to the fringes of the political spectrum.

Since when is D66 in the fringes of the political spectrum? It may have lost a lot of seats in the national parliament, but it seems to be pretty mainstream nonetheless.

Oh, wait, I forgot it is left liberal. That explains it.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 01:35:15 PM EST
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One take-away is that left-leaning parties and the far-right nutters won, but not the Mushy middle.  This is good news, yeah?
by paving on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 03:44:44 PM EST
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D66 has been part of some of the Balkenende cabinets. They are not "fringe".

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 07:57:26 PM EST
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is obviously an extremist, ideological, position.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:08:56 PM EST
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EUobserver / Commission criticises Dutch for early results publication

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European commission on Friday asked the Dutch authorities for clarification regarding the publication of preliminary results in the Netherlands ahead of 7 June, when the results of all 27 member states are supposed to be announced.

Dutch media cited preliminary results on Thursday evening after the Netherlands closed its ballot boxes, indicating an unexpected boost of the far-right, which came in second with almost 17 percent of the votes, while the ruling Christian-Democratic party came in first with 20 percent.

Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende's centre-right party came out first, according to the preliminary results

The Dutch, along with the UK, were the first to go to the polls, with the Irish and Czechs voting today (5 June) and the rest of the member states over the weekend. Results are supposed to be announced at 10pm on Sunday.

"There is a ban on the publication of any results ahead of 7 June, be they preliminary, partial or complete. These results cannot be released to the media or pollsters until the elections. This does not prevent the media to take stock and publish private exit polls", EU commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj said at a press conference on Friday.

by Fran on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 01:35:03 PM EST
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