Dutch minister forced to withdraw criticism of Wilders

Junior farm minister Henk Bleker on Thursday backtracked on stinging criticism he made of the anti-Islam PVV at a campaign meeting on Wednesday night.

At the meeting, the minister reportedly said he wanted nothing to do with the PVV, which has an alliance with the ruling minority CDA and VVD government.

Bleker, a CDA politican, said on Thursday he should have made it clear it is only some of the PVV’s standpoints which he objects to.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Bleker was quoted as saying the PVV’s call for a ban on Muslim headscarves make him feel sick and that party leader Geert Wilders’ suggestion that anti-social families be placed in special “scum villages” was against all forms of decency.

According to Nos television, Bleker has also apologised personally to Wilders at the behest of CDA leader Maxime Verhagen.

Dutch News, 24 February 2011