Balkenende the Mugabe of Europe?

Last week, Marianne Thieme, the faction leader of Dutch extreme left Animal Rights Party has said in parliament that the Dutch government neglects citizen concerns, as it is not holding a new referendum on the European Union reforms and compared the Dutch government with the dictatorial regime of Robert Mugabe in Africa.

In 2005 the Dutch population with a large majority had voted down the European constitution and if there is no referendum over the new agreement, Thieme declared in parliament, this shows that the Dutch government does not consider the opinion of the Dutch people and their democratic vote. Just like the African dictator ship does ignore the vote it’s citizens.

And right she is. The handling of the new European agreement is just one sign of our government’s dictatorial tendencies. This same government is now prosecuting a novel writer who dared to include prime minister Balkenende in one of his fictional stories. It’s the same government that arrested a cartoonist and dragged him out of his own home. Just because he dared to make political incorrect cartoons about Islam and government officials.

It’s also a government that does not protect opposition leaders who then get shot just before the election (Pim Fortuyn). And this week the government revoked the security detail (NL) of former immigration minister Verdonk (also former intelligence director). Who now leads a fast growing populist opposition party that promises to be tough on Islam and leftwing extremist. In the past she has often has been targeted by both Muslims and leftwing attackers. Now with her security revoked she had to cancel her political activities. Verdonk says she no longer feels safe in The Netherlands. It was only last week, her people had to remove Muslims from her property who were photographing her residence.

But the tentacles of the state do not only reach cartoonist and opposition leaders. This week pressure of the government has made sure the only Dutch conservative magazine Opinio had to close shop (NL). The state prosecuted the tiny magazine with only 5000 subscribers into bankruptcy. The weekly magazine was prosecuted for publishing a parody speech of Dutch prime minister Balkenende. In the parody speech the Prime Minister, a Christian Democrat him self, declared that he favored Christianity over Islam and that he thought Islam not radical Islam was the problem. That was unacceptable for the Dutch state who argued in court that the parody endangered national security.

Unfortunately, the bankruptcy of the magazine now seems to makes sure the government has not to offer any proof in court for these claims. Claims that seem to be the basis for so much governmental harassments.


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