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New Electoral Alliance Aims to Capitalize on Anti-E.U. Anger

“Today is the beginning of the liberation from the European elite, the monster in Brussels.”  These are strong words.  But they are not surprising coming from Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom and a man known for his rhetorical flourishes.  He was speaking at a joint press conference with Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front in France, on November 13.  They announced that they would work together in the next European Parliament elections, scheduled for May.

Wilders and Le Pen believe the European Union is run by unelected, elite bureaucrats who are destroying democracy and eroding national sovereignty.  “We want to decide how we control our borders, our money, our economy, our currency,” said Wilders.  Le Pen added, “Our old European nations are forced to ask the authorization of Brussels in all circumstances, forced to submit their budget to the headmistress.”

Known for his bouffant bleach-blond hair, Wilders is easily the most polarizing figure in the Netherlands.  Since founding the Party for Freedom in 2006, he has consistently driven the national political agenda—despite never having been a formal part of a Dutch coalitional government.  In recent years, Wilders has turned his focus on the European Union, but he is best known for his criticism of Islam and Islamic immigration. ...

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