Gert wilders (Dutch. Geert Wilders) – Dutch pro-European anti-liberal politician. He has been a member of the Dutch Parliament since 1998, initially as a representative of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, and since 2006 – of the Freedom Party, of which he became the founder and leader. He became known for his harsh anti-Islamic rhetoric: he advocates a ban on the Koran, immigration from Muslim countries and against the construction of new mosques in the Netherlands. He is the author of the scandalous, anti-Islamic film “Fitna”. Due to his sharp views and statements, he was the subject of several lawsuits.
Place of Birth. Education. Wilders was born on September 6, 1963 in the Dutch city of Venlo in the province of Limburg, on the border with Germany. His father was born in Germany, but fled from there before the Second World War, hid from the Nazis, and even after the war refused to travel to the territory of Germany. After the war, Wilders’ father worked at Oce NV, developing copiers, and later was its vice director. Wilders was the youngest of four children in the family. Wilders studied at the Catholic College of St. Thomas (St. Thomas College) in Venlo. Subsequently, Wilders completed a training course in the field of insurance and received a certificate of completion of legal courses from the Open University of the Netherlands (Open Universiteit). After leaving school, Wilders did not go to university, but decided to see the world. Initially, he wanted to go to Australia, but he did not have enough money for the trip, and he went to Israel, which he later called his second home. In Israel, Wilders made a living working at a grain factory in a moshav near Jericho.
Political career. After returning from Israel, Wilders served in the Dutch army from 1983 to 1984, and then began working for the insurance companies Ziekenfondsraad and Sociale Verzekeringsraad. In 1990, he became interested in politics and joined the Dutch People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie, VVD), writing speeches. Wilders attracted the attention of the head of the party and former head of the European Commission, Fritz Bolkestein, known for his criticism of Muslim immigrants – whom Wilders later called his political father.
In 1997, from the VVD, Wilders was elected to the municipal council of Utrecht, and a year later he became a deputy of the House of Representatives of the States General (parliament) of the Netherlands from the VVD, was re-elected in 2002. From 1998 to 2002, Wilders served on the Parliamentary Committee on Democracy and Human Rights in Iran.
Thanks to sharp criticism of Islamic extremism and statements against Turkey’s EU membership, he gradually began to disagree with the leadership of the party. In September 2004, Wilders left the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, of which he had been a member since 1989, and founded his own party, the Freedom Party (PVV).
In the national elections in November 2006, the Freedom Party received 6% of the vote and 16% in the elections of the Dutch representatives to the European Parliament on June 4, 2009.
On June 9, 2010, in the parliamentary elections, his party received 24 mandates out of 150, finishing third. In July 2010, Wilders announced his intention to create an international anti-Islamic movement, the International Freedom Alliance, taking his Freedom Party as a model. In October 2010, the Freedom Party supported a new governing coalition formed by the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and the Christian Democratic Appeal, but did not win ministerial portfolios.
In the 2017 parliamentary elections, Wilders’s party came in second with 13.1% of the popular vote, resulting in 20 seats in the House of Representatives of the States General.
Political views. Wilders is a representative of libertarianism – the ideology of free will. Wilders is sometimes associated with far-right nationalists, but he himself vigorously objects to such a comparison. He stated that “My allies are not Le Pen or Haider… We will never ally with the fascists”. He considers the greatest role model of the politician Margaret Thatcher. He considers himself to be a supporter of Israel, where he lived for 2 years, and offers to borrow some features of their political and administrative system. Despite this, he became known far beyond the borders of the Netherlands thanks to his harsh criticism of Islam and his statements against the emigration of Muslims to Europe. In particular, he advocates the abolition of the first Constitution of the Netherlands, which guarantees the equality of all citizens, emphasizing the superiority of Christian and European values in the Netherlands over all others. Wilders also advocates limiting the influence of the EU on the internal affairs of the country, for a moratorium on emigration and limiting the participation of emigrants in elections.
In his views on Islam, Wilders believes that there are no moderate Muslims, he is of the opinion that this religion is fundamentally hostile to European values. In his opinion, the Koran should be banned and a ban on emigration should be introduced in the Netherlands – the state should financially encourage emigrants who have already settled to leave the Netherlands voluntarily. As a reflection of his views on Islam, in 2008 he made the documentary “Fitna”, which caused a great resonance in the Netherlands and in the world. For this film, Wilders received threats against him, and in several lawsuits against him, incitement of ethnic hatred and hatred was noted. Wilders himself denies these accusations and insists on freedom of speech and the right to criticize Islamic extremism. Wilders also claims that he does not hate Muslims, only their ideology. Despite this, the film “Fitna” enjoyed some popularity among conservative circles in Europe and the United States.
Personal life. Wilders has been married twice. His second wife’s name is Krishtina. She is Hungarian by nationality. They got married in 1992.
Interesting Facts. Wilders is known for his hair: he is dyed blond, because of this, he was nicknamed Mozart in his homeland. According to colleagues, Wilders is only interested in politics and he does not have time for other hobbies.