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Saturday, 2 October 2010

Netherlands: New Dutch Govt agrees to ban burka and cut deficit

Liberals and Christian Democrats in the Netherlands say they will ban the Muslim burqa-style veil as part of a pact to form a minority coalition government backed by the anti-Islam Freedom Party.

The pact presented by the parties' leaders Thursday also proposes to cut about $25 billion from the Dutch budget.

The incoming coalition government will be dependent on support of the Freedom Party lawmakers to give it a majority in the 150-seat chamber.

Christian Democrats are waiting the outcome of their October 2 convention vote before they make a final decision to approve the coalition proposal.
The Netherlands' new "Freedom and responsibility" coalition formally includes just the Liberal Party (VVD) and the the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). But the 46-page-long coalition agreement by the minority government makes far-reaching concessions on burqas and immigration rules in order to be able to count on parliamentary support from Mr Wilders' PVV faction. 
Under the plans, immigrants already living in the Netherlands will face extra hurdles in bringing family members to the country and unskilled people will have even fewer chances of finding work and coming to settle. The coalition text also promises in writing to bring a burqa bill to parliament.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the VVD and CDA leaders on Thursday (30 September), Mr Wilders said "A new wind will blow in the Netherlands" and "We want the Islamisation to be stopped."

He also took a swipe at German Chancellor Angela Merkel who had earlier voiced "regret" at his potential role in The Hague. Speaking in broken German during the press conference, he said "Ms Merkel, you are not right," and told her to stop meddling in Dutch politics.
Now, we'll see what happens with Wilders' prosecution...

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