- Category: News
- Created on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 09:38
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
The announcement is the latest indication of the waning influence of Geert Wilders, who made tough restrictions on immigration and dual nationals a condition of his Freedom Party’s support for Mark Rutte’s minority coalition.
Spies is standing for the leadership of the Christian Democrats (CDA) after the deputy prime minister, Maxime Verhagen, said he would not continue as leader after September’s election. She is one of four candidates to have stepped forward so far.
Noting that the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament had already rejected the dual nationality ban, she told De Volkskrant: ‘If that happens with the burkha ban I won’t be shedding any tears.’
In a clear reference to the compromises struck with Wilders’s group, she added: ‘In politics you sometimes have to do damage to your own principles because other issues are at stake. Your head says yes, but your heart doesn’t necessarily go with it.’
There has long been unease within the CDA’s ranks about the ‘gedoogakkord’, the deal Rutte’s cabinet struck with Wilders that kept the Liberal (VVD) and Christian Democrat government in power for the last two years.
In November the party came close to splitting over the fate of the teenage asylum seeker Mauro Manuel. Immigration minister Gerd Leers, a Christian Democrat, granted the 18-year-old Angolan a study visa only after a vocal campaign and public criticism from other senior figures in the CDA.
The government collapsed nearly two weeks ago after Wilders refused to agree to a €14 billion package of extra public spending cuts. He denounced in particular plans to raise the pension age to 66, insisting he could not support a deal that made ‘the elderly pay for stupid demands by Brussels’.
Wilders is currently in the United States promoting his latest book, Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me.