01:45 GMT17 January 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    On March 21, 335 municipalities in the Netherlands will be holding an election as the voters will determine who's going to take seats in local councils for next 4 years. Dutch national-conservative Eurosceptic party "Forum for Democracy" focused its efforts on Amsterdam. Sputnik spoke with FvD Amsterdam top candidate Annabel Nanninga.

    Sputnik: Annabel, you’re from Amsterdam, you’re a journalist, so you probably know the city and its problems. What are they?

    Annabel Nanninga: I think the biggest problem is the city council itself – a self-serving class of professional politicians. They don’t know what’s really going on in the city, they are too weak, and there’s too much consensus among them, they are sort of ideologically the same. And aside from that, there is security and the safety of our streets. There is growing intolerance, radicalization, Islamization. And, of course, the housing market is completely jammed up in an almost socialist planning system, with too much social housing overcrowding the market for middle class homes. So, these are the biggest issues.

    Sputnik: Could you tell us about other FvD Amsterdam candidates? Who are these people, what do they do?

    Annabel Nanninga: At number two we have a lawyer – Anton van Schijndel, he specializes in the housing market, we have the chief librarian of Amsterdam University, he’s on our list as well, we have two doctors, at number 3, we have a professional handball player, also we have a lot of entrepreneurs, people who have worked in the financial world, we have the owner of the biggest car rental firm in Amsterdam – he’s on our list at number 6. So, a variety of very skilled people, and none of them are professional politicians.

    Sputnik: The FvD is often criticized for its stance on immigration and related issues. What is your view on the subject?

    Annabel Nanninga: Well, for starters – to stop immigration on this scale as it’s happening now. But that’s, of course, not an Amsterdam issue – that’s a Dutch issue, for Dutch politics. And it needs to be dealt with here in terms of acknowledging what’s going wrong, and being able to even name such things. There is a problem between Islamic and democratic values concerning freedom and equality. You should at least be able to say that without being slandered, being labeled racist or whatever. We should have absolutely no tolerance for such practices. For instance, the Free University of Amsterdam has events for Muslim students, where men and women are seated separately. That’s just against our values. We will not have that, we should not have that. It’s a very simple thing, and it may seem symbolic. But if you start allowing all these little things, all combined, integration will fail.

    Sputnik: You just finished talking to your supporters at a rally here in Amsterdam. How did it go, how do your ideas resonate with the people?

    Annabel Nanninga: I loved being here. It was really a rally among very critical Amsterdammers; a lot of them probably will be voting or considering voting for Forum for Democracy. You could notice that they were very up-to-date, very aware of the situations that we are facing, and they asked very detailed to-the-point questions. And also, you felt the need to come together, the urge to be here and yet to remain practical and logical on how to handle things.

    READ MORE: Italy's Euroskeptic Drive: Euro 'Will Be in Trouble in Several Years' — Prof.

    Sputnik: One of the key promises of the FvD is to oppose the “cartel” of other political parties, as they proclaim competition between each other, but in reality often do things together. What’s your view on the issue?

    Annabel Nanninga: The problem is for the Amsterdam voter. He or she has absolutely nothing to choose from. Because all parties – they are virtually alike. One is little more “green” and the other is a little bit more liberal, but it barely makes difference, so they don’t really have a choice. The Amsterdam voters haven’t had a proper choice in decades. It’s a democratic problem. Of course, you have to work together with other parties and maybe sometimes you have to decide something in the little back room – even that I can understand. But it’s also dangerous, because when one of the Amsterdam politicians makes a very serious mistake, the other parties will not be critical of that person. So you have a city council that does not correct each other’s mistakes. We have to keep each other sharp and on edge and nobody does that anymore.

    Sputnik: Let’s talk about international issues. FvD opposed the Ukraine-European Union Association agreement. In general, your party is considered Eurosceptic. Is it so?

    Annabel Nanninga: In one word – yes. We believe that the current EU is a monster. It’s undemocratic. It should not be made any bigger than it already is. And we want to leave the EU in its form as it is now. There needs to be cooperation. Of course, we’re not an island in the world, but the current EU and the way it’s set up – well, a completely self-serving, undemocratic “invisible government” – that needs to go.

    The views and opinions expressed by Annabel Nanninga are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    election, European Union, Netherlands
    Community standardsDiscussion