A far-right politician has applauded the “strong and thorough” British press – claiming that European journalists are “sissies” by comparison.
Dutch MP Geert Wilders complimented British reporters for not shying away from the real issues, while in the same sentence blasting his own country’s press for playing it safe.
Speaking to the Dutch press this week he answered questions on why he regularly makes more time for the international press rather than the Dutch news outlets.
He said: “They [the international press] are not more or less pleasant than the Dutch press. I got a lot of requests during the last weeks, and I found it very impolite not to answer.”
He continued: “They are often much tougher, especially the Anglo-Saxons. It is also nicer, the British and the Americans are much more staunch than the sissies you are.”
He has so far on the campaign trail shunned most big interviews with the Dutch press to only do select interviews, which he has approved.
The only big interview on a right-wing Dutch broadcaster was criticised because of the perceived soft questioning.
But he did do a tough private interview with the BBC’s John Sweeney, which was both praised by Wilders’ opponents and attacked by his loyal fan base after the British journalist asked him directly “are you a fascist?”
Wilders is currently under the guard of Special Guarding Assignment soldiers who took over part of Wilders’ security from the elite police Guarding and Security Service after a leak of information to criminals about his daily routine.
He has only recently again resumed his public appearances on the campaign trail.
So far Wilders has not taken part in any major debate with his political opponents due to conflicts with debate organisers and broadcasters. However, he did make an appearance together with all his main opponents in a debate tailored for children for a kids’ TV show.
Wilders said: “It was by far the nicest debate. Each time it is the highlight of the campaign.”
Wilders party – The Party for Freedom (PVV) – is in a neck-to-neck race with the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) of current Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the run-up to the parliamentary elections due to take place on 15 March.