Netherlands: Headscarf protest against the PVV

Netherlands: Headscarf protest against the PVV

About 50-100 women with headscarves demonstrated against the PVV tonight at the Almere municipality building. There were also several men with headscarves among the protesters. The party became the biggest party in Almere in the municipal elections on March 3rd.

The women held banners saying for example, "my headscarf, my freedom". The PVV wants to ban headscarves in municipal installations. Thursday evening was the first council meeting since the elections.

The coalition talks for the new coalition of mayor and aldermen is proceeding with difficulties. The PVV has given up trying to form a coalition.

The PVV may, as the biggest party, lead the coalition negotiations, and therefore the party conducted exploratory talks last week.

PVV fraction leader Raymond de Roon told Radio 1 Journaal this morning that the "PVV promised voters to ensure more security, tax reduction and less Islam. But on these points the other parties aren't willing to compromise and we're therefore not succeeding to forge a coalition."

The VVD said they're willing to form a coalition with the PVV and PvdA, but De Roon says that's impossible. "The PvdA rejects that categorically."

De Roon says the only option left is the opposition. "We think it's a real shame that we're being forced into the opposition role, but also from the opposition we'll for for the citizens of Almere in the known PVV way."

VVD head Arno Visser is surprised that the PVV stopped with the coalition talks. On Monday he spoke for half an hour with De Roon. "But those weren't negotiations, that was an exploratory talk."

Visser says that the PVV never said in the talks that there were differences between the parties which couldn't be overcome.

According to PvdA fraction head Alphons Muurlink, the PVV had no desire to form a coalition, and from the start wanted to hide in the opposition.

During the talk with De Roon, Muurlink said that the gap between the PvdA and PVV was very big. "I think it's normal that everybody has equal rights and opportunities, but I also think it's normal that a municipality leads a solid financial policy." He said the PVV are the biggest spenders he's ever seen.

The PvdA will ask in tonight's meeting to take over the negotiations, as the city's second largest party.

Sources: NOS, Telegraaf (Dutch)

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