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Geert Wilders still has something to prove
His best days seem to be over, both in his native Netherlands as well as on the European stage. Support for him has gone down substantially in recent elections, following an almost unprecedented political success story.
Geert Wilders, son of a Dutch father and an Indonesian-born mother, entered the Dutch parliament in 1998 as a member of the center-right VVD party. He left the VVD 14 years later, though, because he didn't agree with that party's position on Turkey - the VVD was in favor of Turkey joining the EU.
In 2006 Wilders founded his own political group, the Party for Freedom, or PVV, on an anti-EU, anti-euro and anti-Islam platform. It became an immediate success. The anti-Islam element in particular proved popular with voters. In a poll in 2008, 56 percent of Dutch people said Islam was a threat to society while 57 percent said the biggest mistake in their country's history was to let in that many Muslims. Wilders once explained his political success by declaring "I just say out loud what millions of people are thinking."
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