Dutch Freedom Party unable to form coalition

Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) abandoned attempts to form a majority coalition in the town of Almere after it emerged the largest party in municipal elections March 3. No other party was willing to accept the party’s controversial agenda. As a result, the Freedom Party will stand in the opposition. The party also enjoyed success in the Hague during the recent elections, and local leader Sietse Fritsma announced that it is open for “all constructive proposals” from other parties in the city to form a ruling coalition.
Divisive issues preventing a coalition include the party’s demand for urban “commando” presence on the city’s streets, a headscarf ban in public buildings, and local tax cuts.
Earlier this week Wilders faced opposition from the mayor of the German town Monschau after spending the weekend in the region. Mayor Margareta Ritter said that the politician was not welcome in the town, as she was concerned that his presence would “tainted her town with the suspicion that it was sympathetic to his views”, DPA reports

Dutch politician calls for headscarf ban in the Hague

Right wing PVV (Freedom) Party leader Geert Wilders announced that a ban on headscarves for city council workers and in all institutions and clubs receiving local authority support will form the basis of negotiations during governing coalition talks in the upcoming months.

Wilders made the comments during a lengthy speech in Almere, one of the centers of support for his party. The ban will not apply to other religious items such as Christian crosses and Jewish skull caps, Wilders claims, because they are symbols of Dutch culture. Dutch News reports that the speech received a standing ovation.