Britain voting to leave the European Union next month could trigger a wave of similar freedom movements across Europe and effectively “liberate” the continent, and control from Brussels is not unlike former Communist rule from Moscow for many, Dutch Freedom leader Geert Wilders has said.
Speaking to Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, Eurosceptic and counter-Islamification campaigner Mr. Wilders said Britain would lead by example by voting to leave the European Union, and in doing so would “liberate Europe” for the second time in a century, making clear reference to Britain’s key role in resisting German expansionism during the Second World War.
Mr. Wilders said: “Like in the 1940s, once again Britain could help liberate Europe from another totalitarian monster, this time called ‘Brussels’. Again, we could be saved by the British… If people see that a country can leave, and the lights do not go out, there is not a war, and a country does not go bankrupt, but even flourishes. If Britain proves that this theory can become a reality, it would have an enormous effect.”
Several countries are thought to be likely candidates for similar referendums to Britain, should she succeed in her bid to break free from the Union. Austria and Poland are thought to be possibilities, and Mr. Wilders added the Netherlands to the list.
Speaking of the ‘Patriotic Spring’ coming in Europe, a reaction to the authoritarian and undemocratic European Union, Mr. Wilders said the “genie” of populist, pro-freedom politics was “now out of the bottle”.
Mr. Wilders leads the Netherland’s Party for Freedom, and frequently uses the metaphor of spring blossoming to describe an awakening interest in the West in self-determinism, freedom, and national identity. His party consistently tops the polls in Holland, yet the other parties in parliament, both mainstream and alternative, shun him as a pariah and have sworn to keep him out of government even if he forms the largest party at next year’s elections.
Writing exclusively for Breitbart earlier this year, he hailed a ‘Patriotic Spring’ and drew comparisons to 1980s Communist Europe, when “Poland struggled to be Poland”. Mr. Wilders wrote he saw the same thing happening in Europe and the United States again today.
On the spreading discontent with the centralisation of political authority in Brussels, Mr. Wilders said yesterday the Eastern European states were most sensitive to totalitarianism, having only recently liberated themselves. He remarked:
“The eastern Europeans have already experienced what it is like to live under totalitarianism, they know what Moscow rule meant. Nobody knows that better than the Poles, the Czechs the Slovaks and the Hungarians.
“So they know, when they see another totalitarian monster – this time it’s dressed up a little differently; this time it’s called Brussels instead of Moscow – but it still wants to take their national sovereignty and identity and change their country. And people are saying: ‘enough is enough’.”
Brexit isn’t the only forthcoming political event Mr. Wilders has a keen eye on. Citizens of Austria voted yesterday to elect a new president, in a straight run-off between a left-Green candidate and right-wing populist Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer.
The latest counts last night showed the pair perfectly matched at 50 per cent each, with just the postal votes to count this morning. Mr. Wilders said of the contest:
“Just like a Brexit, a Freedom Party victory would be an enormous incentive for people all over Europe to see that we are not parties on the fringe of politics, that we are not only the biggest party in respective countries but even provide the head of state, the elected President.
“It’s a reality and you’d better face it and deal with it. This will be the future in many European countries”.
Mr. Wilders’ remarks echo those he made in an exclusive interview with Breitbart London last year. When asked on his thoughts about the British referendum on the European Union — at that point still 18 months away — Mr. Wilders said:
“I am inspired by the British referendum, and I hope it will inspire the rest of Europe when Britain votes to leave the European Union. You are lucky enough to be out of the Eurozone – in Holland we have had billions in austerity measures, taxes being raised, just to pay for the countries in Southern Europe who are unwilling to raise taxes. It is a wealth transfer union.
“The European project has very little support outside of the political elite. Holland is like the United Kingdom, with so many laws coming from the European Union instead of our parliament or cabinet. Europe should be a continent of nation states who are free trading, with our own identities, not a bunch of Eurocrats nobody voted for.
“I really hope the people of the United Kingdom don’t vote against Europe – but vote against the European Union! That would inspire us Dutch, and the UK would be followed out by many other countries.”
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