Netherlands to ban burka, halve immigration: Anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders

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Wellington, Oct 1(ANI): The Netherlands will ban the 'burka' and halve immigration under measures agreed in a pact to form a minority coalition government, according to Geert Wilders, the anti-Islam MP whose party is part of the deal.

"We want the Islamisation to be stopped," The Telegraph quoted Wilders, who will go on trial in Amsterdam next Monday for inciting hatred against Muslims, as saying.

Wilders, who campaigns for a ban on Muslim immigration and wants to end the building of new mosques and tax Muslim head scarves, had a say in the plan's immigration policies in return for supporting its austerity measures.

The "Freedom and responsibility" plan seeks to cut government spending by 18 billion euros (24 billion dollars) by 2015.

Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) will remain outside the envisaged VVD-CDA cabinet but will provide the minority government with the majority it needs to pass decisions through parliament in return for a voice in policy formation, the paper said.

Members of the Christian Democratic Appeal, deeply divided over co-operation with Wilders, are yet to approve the new accord, which will be debated at a party congress on Saturday.

The VVD, or People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, narrowly won the June 9 elections with 31 out of 150 parliamentary seats but needs partners to form a government.

CDA leader Maxime Verhagen described the deal as a "very good governing agreement."

Although, the exact number of women wearing the 'burka' in The Netherlands is not known, they are believed to amount to a few dozen. Muslims make up an estimated about 900,000 of the 16.5 million Dutch population, the paper said. (ANI)

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