The war of words between Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and far-right populist Geert Wilders exploded in a face to face debate on Monday as Wilders called on Rutte to close the Netherlands’ borders.
“You are being taken hostage by [Turkish President] Erdogan. Close the Dutch borders,” Wilders told his top rival, Rutte, during the 30-minute televised debate.
“That’s a totally fake solution,” Rutte retorted, hitting back at Wilders’ suggestion that the Dutch borders should be shut.
“You want Nexit, you want the Netherlands out of Europe. You know what it will cost… don’t do it,” he warned.
If the Netherlands were to leave the EU, it would be “the best thing that could happen to us,” Wilders argued.
Rutte responded that a “Nexit” would cost 1.5 million jobs and trigger “chaos.”
“What we have to do to protect our borders is not make agreements with people like Mr. Erdogan,” Wilders said, referring to the European Union’s migrant deal with Turkey.