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Monday 21 August 2017

Dutch PM seeks to lure support from Geert Wilders ahead of poll

Mr Rutte urged people who would not integrate to
Mr Rutte urged people who would not integrate to "behave or go away" (AP)

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is seeking to lure voters away from anti-immigration leader Geert Wilders as campaigning for national elections on March 15 heats up.

In a full-page message published in national newspapers, Mr Rutte said "we have to actively defend our values" against people who refuse to integrate.

While Mr Rutte's message does not mention Mr Wilders or his Party for Freedom, it is clearly aimed at voters who back the right-wing politician's hard-line platform.

Mr Rutte, leader of the centre-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, said he understands calls for people who do not integrate to leave the Netherlands. He said: "I have that feeling, too. Behave normally or go away."

Mr Wilders hit back on Twitter, calling the PM "the man of open borders, the asylum tsunami, mass immigration, Islamisation, lies and deception".

Press Association

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