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

Update: Controversy Continues Over Measuring Costs of Immigration

Debate continues in Dutch parliament regarding the request by the Freedom Party (PVV) to undertake a study of the impact of non-Western immigrants on the nation’s budget. Integration Minister Eberhard van der Laan refused, saying the government does not compile figures on specific groups in society. Van der Laan is accused of making his refusal to name a figure partly a political decision, thus dodging his constitutional obligation to provide information.

But while the government has an obligation to supply information, what preoccupied many MPs in the parliamentary debate was the intention behind the Freedom Party’s request in the light of its anti-Islam and anti-immigrant political agenda. Freedom Party MP Sietse Fritsma would say no more than that “the tax payer has a right to information”.

PVV Wants to Calculate Cost of Immigration

Geert Wilders’ PVV (Party for Freedom) has asked that Dutch ministries conduct a “cost benefit analysis” of the presence of non-western immigrants in the Netherlands. Member of Parliament Sietse Fritsma has requested that each ministry calculate how much immigrants contribute in taxes and how much of the departments’ expenses are due to immigrants. Figures are requested for the past year and five years, as well as forecasts for the upcoming year and five year period. It remains unclear whether the ministries will respond to Fritsma’s request individually or provide a collective statement.