Vlaams Belang leader congratulates Geert Wilders on Dutch election victory
Tom Van Grieken, leader of the far-right Vlaams Belang party, has welcomed the results of the Netherlands' general election, in which Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) doubled its number of seats in parliament.
“It is clear: the population is yearning for real change. Not only in the Netherlands but also in Flanders,” Van Grieken said in a press release on Thursday after PVV obtained 37 seats, more than double the 17 seats they previously held.
“Migration was clearly the central theme in these elections. And that makes sense, too," said Van Grieken. "The importance and impact of migration cannot be overestimated.”
Van Grieken said he looked forward to continued cooperation with PVV: “We have been working together very well for many years and will continue to do so. Everywhere in Europe, we see the same right-wing wind blowing.”
Hungarian president Viktor Orbán and Marine Le Pen, leader of far-right party National Rally in France, have also publicly congratulated Wilders. Le Pen said on X that “hope for change in Europe remains alive” and that people are "defending their national identity".
Italy's Matteo Salvini, the leader of Lega, said: “Congratulations to our friend Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV and historic ally of Lega, for this extraordinary election victory. A new Europe is possible.”
Wilders' election platform included calls for a referendum on the Netherlands leaving the EU, an end to accepting asylum-seekers and migrant pushbacks at Dutch borders. PVV also advocates for the “de-Islamisation” of the Netherlands. “The Dutch will be Number 1 again,” Wilders said. “The people must get their nation back.”
Geert Wilders reacts to the results of the Dutch elections © PHOTO ANP REMKO DE WAAL