VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – In an exclusive interview with CBN News’ Senior Reporter Dale Hurd, Dutch Prime Minister front-runner Geert Wilder discussed his candidacy for office, the future of the European Union, and his controversial remarks and views on immigration. The interview, recorded in The Hague, Netherlands, aired Thursday, February 9, 2017 and is available to view on the CBN News website.
Wilders, a current leader in the anti-EU, anti-immigration Party for Freedom, has become a national favorite in the Netherland’s political race for Prime Minister. However, his views on immigration and on the European Union have not only gained him popularity, but also continuous death threats and charges of hate speech. He has lived under 24-hour police protection for twelve-and-a-half years.
In his interview with CBN News, Wilder attributes his popularity in the Netherlands to the growing unrest of the people and the inaction of the government in response to them.
“I’m not comparing myself with Donald Trump or anybody else, but the people are fed up with the politicians ignoring the problems,” said Wilders. “The people are fed up by if they say something about the influx of the mass immigration from mostly Islamic countries — what they really feel as a threat, [and] what is a threat — they are being called racist if they make a remark about [it].”
“Those are common people; those are not racist people,” he added.
Wilders also talked about what he foresees as the future of the European Union, which he described as the end of the Roman Empire.
“I’m against the European Union as I’ve told you, but I am very much in favor of Europe. Europe is my home; Europe is my continent. Europe is where we live,” Wilders said, but he added, “I would get rid of the European union and be a nation state again… [The] European Union is like the end of the Roman Empire. It’s already started. In a few years’ time it will not be there anymore.”
Responding to Hurd’s questions on recent news headlines, Wilders discussed his reaction to being recently convicted of hate speech and the media comparisons between him and President Trump.
“I think I’m the first Dutchman who was convicted for something that is not in the law, because the judge decided that Moroccans — which as you know is a nationality — have to be seen as a race,” Wilders said of the ruling against him. “The reason I said it was because 80 percent of the Dutch jihadists who go to fight in Syria are Moroccans. Eighty percent. They are 22 times over-represented when it comes to street crime, and 60 percent of the Moroccan youth under the age of 23 has been arrested at least once. So, in any poll it proved that the majority of the Dutch people agreed with me about the Moroccans, and the judge said because of international jurisprudence — once again not even in the Dutch law — that Moroccans had to be seen as a race.”
Of the comparisons with President Trump, Wilders said, “Mr. Trump is Mr. Trump. I’m Mr. Wilders. I’m not anybody’s copy.”
“But I believe indeed as Mr. Trump said — despite some differences — we have a lot in common, and it’s a kind of movement. It is a kind of movement as he calls it. It’s also [Europe’s] movement. We are not Trump’s movement. Trump is not our movement, but the people are waking up.”
The Christian Broadcasting Network has been at the political forefront among all faith news outlets, often featuring exclusive interviews with presidential candidates and nominees, in both the United States and abroad. On Jan. 20, 2017, CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody sat down with President Donald J. Trump for a White House interview, one week following his Inauguration.
Dale Hurd, CBN News Senior Reporter — Since joining the CBN News team in 1988, Dale Hurd’s in-depth investigations have taken him from inside the crumbling Soviet Union to the heart of Sarajevo during the Bosnian Civil War. He specializes in a broad range of analysis of national and international affairs as well as investigative reporting. Hurd has reported from Russia several times, as well as from China, Europe and the Middle East. Before coming to CBN News, Hurd worked in radio and was a senior producer for CBN Radio News. He is a native of Michigan.
Christian Broadcasting Network is a multifaceted nonprofit organization that provides cable, broadcast, satellite and online programming around the world. CBN and its affiliated organizations aim to report the news of the day from an informed Christian perspective. For more than 55 years, CBN has continued to grow in both size and scope as a leading voice in Christian broadcasting, media and communications by utilizing cutting-edge technology in every area of its operation.