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Right-wing Dutch politician slams queen's Christmas plea for tolerance

Right-wing Dutch politician slams queen's Christmas plea for tolerance

An anti-immigrant politician criticized the Dutch queen's Christmas Day speech, saying Thursday it amounted to "multi-culti nonsense" and demanding she limit herself to cutting ribbons.
Geert Wilders said Queen Beatrix's speech _ written by the prime minister's office _ was a thinly veiled attack on his Freedom Party.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has criticized Wilders in the past for warning that a "tsunami of Islamization" is threatening the Netherlands due to immigration from Muslim countries, and for his call to ban the Quran.
Under the Dutch constitution, the prime minister is responsible for the queen's speech, and she cannot speak on her own behalf.
On Tuesday, the queen said in this year's televised speech: "Rudeness in word and deed tests the limits of tolerance. Discussions end up in rigid stances _ in that kind of atmosphere people are quickly grouped together and prejudices are accepted as truth. That erodes the community spirit."
Queen Beatrix did not refer to Wilders by name. But Balkenende appeared to confirm the speech was aimed at least partly at Wilders, saying: "It's a pity that he only had eyes for the elements from the Christmas speech that apparently address him in a negative sense."
Wilders said of the speech: "This is a political statement against us, in which multi-culti (multicultural) nonsense is praised to the heavens by someone who hasn't been elected and to whom I cannot respond."
He said he would submit a parliamentary motion next month to separate the queen from the Cabinet _ a motion not likely to succeed in Dutch parliament.
"I want her to stay on, but as a respected head of state that cuts ribbons and doesn't make political statements on behalf of the government," Wilders said. His comments were cited by several newspapers and confirmed by a spokeswoman.
Wilder's motion to separate the Cabinet and queen may find some support with The Socialist Party, which has long argued the monarchy should be abolished or its political role further curtailed.
Wilders holds nine seats in the 150-member Dutch parliament, while the Socialists hold 25.


Updated : 2021-02-26 17:26 GMT+08:00