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Former party boss distance himself from Wilders

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - Former conservative liberal leader Frits Bolkestein, an EU-skeptic, who following his VVD-leadership in the Second Chamber, departed for a European Commissioner post in Brussels in 1998, has again aimed strongly-worded criticism at Geert Wilders, his former parliamentary assistant who later took a seat for the party in the Second Chamber. Bolkestein distances himself especially from denigrating remarks, such as those that label mosques ‘palaces of hatred.’ The 78-year old former politician notes that he joined the EU cabinet as a Commissioner shortly after Wilders entered parliament. He rejects the notion that he tutored Wilders in anyway. Bolkestein also opposes Wilders-driven cuts to culture and the arts and suggests that development aid is a better place to save money. According to Bolkestein, Wilders has radicalized but says he does not understand the reason for this change.