Who is Geert Wilders?
Geert Wilders, the founder of the Party for Freedom in 2006, is a Dutch politician. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1998 and currently serves as the party’s leader in the chamber.
Wilders, originally a Roman Catholic, parted ways with the church during his coming of age. His political perspectives were shaped during his travels to Israel and the broader Middle East in his early adulthood. He began his career as a speechwriter for the conservative-liberal VVD and later served as a parliamentary assistant to party leader Frits Bolkestein from 1990 to 1998. In 1997, he became a member of the municipal council of Utrecht.
Age- 60 years
Height- 1.95 m
Born- 6 September 1963
Spouse- Krisztina Wilders (m. 1992)
Profession-Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
Party-Party for Freedom
Geert Wilders’s Parents
Born on September 6, 1963, in the city of Venlo, located in the province of Limburg, Geert Wilders is the youngest of four children. His father, Johannes Henricus Andreas Wilders, worked as a manager for the printing and copying manufacturing company Océ, while his mother, Maria Anne Ording, was born in colonial Indonesia with a background that included mixed Dutch and Indonesian heritage. Raised in a Catholic household, Wilders has both Dutch and Indonesian roots through his parents.
Geert Wilders’s Wife
Geert Wilders is married to Krisztina Wilders (formerly Márfai), a former diplomat from Hungary with Jewish roots. According to sources, the couple has chosen not to disclose details about their personal life, and it is reported that they do not have any children.
Geert Wilders’s Education
Wilders completed his secondary education at the Mavo and Havo middle school and high school in Venlo. Subsequently, he pursued a course in health insurance at the Stichting Opleiding Sociale Verzekeringen in Amsterdam. Additionally, he obtained several law certificates from the Dutch Open University.
Geert Wilders’s Career
Residing in Utrecht, Wilders initially worked in health insurance before transitioning into politics as a speechwriter for the Netherlands’ People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy. His formal political career commenced as a parliamentary assistant to party leader Frits Bolkestein, specializing in foreign policy from 1990 to 1998. During this period, Wilders extensively traveled across the Middle East, visiting countries such as Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Israel. Bolkestein, a pioneer in addressing the consequences of mass immigration and offering sharp criticism of Muslim immigrants, not only influenced Wilders’ ideas but also shaped his confrontational speaking style. Political analyst Anno Bunnik later likened Wilders to a “sorcerer’s apprentice” under Bolkestein’s guidance.
In 1997, Geert Wilders was elected to the municipal council of Utrecht as a member of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Residing in Kanaleneiland, a suburb with affordable housing and a significant immigrant population, he faced challenges, including being mugged in his own neighborhood. Despite his municipal council tenure, he did not garner significant support in subsequent elections. In 1998, he entered the national parliament and initially gained attention in 2002 as a public spokesman for the VVD, known for his outspoken criticism of Islamic extremism. Tensions within the party led to his expulsion, and in 2004, he founded his own political party, initially named Groep Wilders and later renamed the Party for Freedom.
The Party for Freedom, echoing some of the views of the late Pim Fortuyn, gained traction, especially after the 2006 Dutch parliamentary election, securing nine seats. Wilders aimed for a prominent role, expressing his ambition to become the Prime Minister. By 2010, the party’s influence grew, winning local elections in Almere and making significant gains in The Hague. In the parliamentary elections of the same year, the Party for Freedom became the third-largest party, obtaining 24 seats out of 150.
Wilders played a pivotal role in the negotiations that led to a coalition government formed by the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), although the Party for Freedom did not become part of the government. The coalition’s policies were influenced by the PVV’s support agreement.
However, in 2012, Wilders withdrew his support from the coalition due to proposed austerity measures, leading to new elections in which the Party for Freedom lost seats. In subsequent years, the party continued to be a prominent force in Dutch politics, participating in various elections and securing a notable position in the European Parliament in 2014. Despite fluctuations in electoral performance, Wilders and the PVV remained influential, addressing issues such as immigration and EU withdrawal.In the 2017 general election, although the PVV won 20 seats, major parties ruled out forming coalitions with them, preventing their participation in the government. The party maintained a presence in subsequent elections, with the 2021 Dutch general election resulting in the PVV securing 17 seats in the House of Representatives. Wilders attributed the loss of three seats to a recent lack of significant events related to Islam and immigration.
Geert Wilders’s Net Worth 2023
Geert Wilders’ estimated net worth in 2023 is $16 million, comprising real estate assets valued at $10 million, a stock portfolio worth $2 million, a salary of $150,000, and an inheritance of $3.9 million.