Rutte: Wilders not Rightwing
THE HAGUE, 17/03/14 - The Party for Freedom (PVV) is no right-wing party. On some points, it is currently even more left-wing than the Socialist Party (SP), said Premier and conservative (VVD) leader Mark Rutte Monday in an interview with NU.nl.
"The left-wing bloc has got bigger, as the PVV has joined it. The party of Wilders has definitively left the right-wing camp,” said the VVD leader. "It is good to realise that if you want to vote for the right, you come to the VVD. If you look at the financial and economic programme of the PVV, this is very much left-wing.”
Rutte sees Wilders shifting particularly in the areas of healthcare and social security. “There is a smaller and smaller group of parties supporting VVD policy of attaching requirements to benefit payments, cutting back on social security, necessary reforms of the healthcare system,” according to the premier. “You see that on the right, the air is becoming more rarefied, that there are fewer parties there.”
Rutte does concede that Wilders, like the VVD is profiling himself strongly on the security theme, a classic right-wing topic. “But you do not solve security problems by saying that all Moroccans are a problem. You solve these problems by tackling the problems.”
According to Rutte, the local elections on Wednesday present a ‘simple choice’: “Do you vote for an experimental party or do you say: No experiments, but stick to your course?”
Wilders reacted with pique to Rutte’s remarks via Twitter, referring to the founder of communism. "Karl Marx would lick his fingers with these tax increases of yours, Mark.”
On RTL7, Labour (PvdA) leader Diederik Samsom termed it an "incomprehensible comment” that the PVV is no longer a right-wing party. “More right-wing than the PVV is almost impossible,” according to Samsom.