VVD (people’s party for freedom and democracy) Eindhoven is not happy about the allegation by ‘Eindhoven Kan Het’ (Eindhoven can do it) that VVD councillors are racist. “Apologies would be appropriate”.
‘Eindhoven Kan Het’ (an organisation that campaigns against racism and fascism) sent out a press release on Monday in which it spoke out against a number of ‘racist and fascist’ parties in the Eindhoven city council. One of the parties mentioned was VVD.
List leader Lex Janssen does not want to hear about this message. “I saw that Eindhoven Kan Het organised a protest against racism and fascism. It was said that people within the VVD were racist or fascist. It would do Eindhoven Kan Het good if they would apologise for that”.
Eindhoven Kan Het does mention a number of incidents in which VVD, in the context of racism, does not appear to be flawless: the conviction of former State Secretary Mark Rutte for incitement to racial discrimination and the cooperation with FvD (forum for democracy) in the provincial government.
“The fact that we cooperated with FvD in the provincial councils does not make me a racist”, Janssen says. “And what happened at the ministry in 2003, there was a judge who ruled on that. That was reversed, but that does not make me a racist”.
“And it says: ‘We don’t want racists and fascists in the city council’, so then I feel quite addressed as list leader of one of the parties mentioned”, Janssen says. “We are against racism and fascism, and we have always come down hard on them whenever they have been mentioned in the council”.
Co-operation ruled out
As far as that is concerned, even after the municipal elections – should FvD win seats – there is no room for cooperation. “I think the chance that VVD and FvD will be in a coalition is zero”, Janssen says. This while VVD did step into the provincial government with FvD before.
“I think there is also a reason why that coalition no longer exists”, Janssen says. “I was not involved in the formation of the coalition, so I cannot comment on that. But if you look at what Forum is doing nationally, now with statements about the war in Ukraine, but earlier also about Corona. They will have to change a lot if we want to work with them now and again”, says Janssen.
Wrap around the arm
Nevertheless, the list leader is keeping a wary eye on things. “I have to say that I do not know these people, I have not read their programmes. Suppose they suddenly come up with a VVD programme and they act really nice. But I can’t imagine that happening”, Janssen concludes.
Translated by: Bob