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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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