Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders thinks the Netherlands should leave the European Union. He has advocated leaving the eurozone before, which comes down to the same thing - as countries that drop the euro cannot remain a member of the European Union.
Speaking in New York where he is promoting his book Marked for Death, he said: “We can become a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) like Norway or of the European Trade Association (ETA) like Switzerland so that we keep the economic advantage. By no longer being a member of the EU and the eurozone, we determine our own rules, like who comes into the country, immigration and have our own currency.”
His words come as the Netherlands prepares for a parliamentary election on 12 September, after he withdrew his party's parliamentary support for the minority VVD-Christian Democrat government just over a week ago. This led to the fall of the Dutch government after seven weeks of negotiations in which the three parties failed to agree on new austerity measures. The minority coalition need the Freedom Party support in palriament to pass legislation.
National sovereignty is set to be the main theme of his campaign. “Without it we cannot defend our identity and fight against Islamisation,” he said.
In the Freedom Party’s last election manifesto in 2010, Mr Wilders did not call for the Netherlands to leave the EU, but he did want to get rid of the European Parliament. In spite of this, his party fielded candidates in elections for the European Parliament.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Wilders dismissed rumours that he is planning to leave the Netherlands to live in the United States.
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