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Wilders, Geert

Wilders, Geert, 1963–, Dutch politician. known for his far-right and anti-immigration views. A member of People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) from 1989, he was elected to the municipal council of Utrecht (1997) and then to the Dutch parliament (1998). A VVD spokesperson from 2002, he soon broke with many of the party's positions, especially on the accession of Turkey to the European Union. Wilders left the VVD in 2004 and started Groep Wilders, which became (2006) the right-wing, Eurosceptic, anti-Islamic Party for Freedom (PVV). After advocating a ban on the Qur'an in the Netherlands (2007) and producing a short film on Islamic terrorism (2008), he was charged with inciting hatred toward Muslims (2009), but was eventually acquitted. Since 2010 the PPV has been one of the larger parties in the fragmented Dutch parliament. Wilders' views have made him a target of numerous death threats.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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