Netherlands: How Strong is the Far Right? | European Journal | DW | 26.05.2010

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European Journal

Netherlands: How Strong is the Far Right?

With national elections scheduled for June 9, far-right populist Geert Wilders is counting on anti-Islamic slogans to mobilize his base. Other parties hope the issue will be the economy - anything but Wilders, please.

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Ausländer in Amsterdam Niederlande Fahrrad

Muslims in Amsterdam (AP Photo/ Evert Elzinga)

Yet predictions of his party's impending demise may be premature. Wilders recently said the Netherlands spends more than 7 billion euros a year on immigration. He deftly combines his fight against immigration with economic arguments - and has struck a nerve among Dutch voters. Many are worried by the growing Muslim presence in the country and Islamic radicalization. Both were made possible by a generous immigration policy that hardly requires the migrants to integrate at all.