Netherlands commemorates Pim Fortuyn on 20th anniversary of his murder

On Friday, several places in the country will commemorate the murder of Pim Fortuyn 20 years ago. The Beeld van Pim Foundation and political party Leefbaar Rotterdam, among others, are organizing a memorial march, and Rotterdam is commemorating the former politician with a symposium in the city hall. Two decades after his murder, two-thirds of Netherlands residents are positive about Fortuyn and his ideas, EenVandaag found in a poll.

The march starts at Fortuyn’s former home in Rotterdam and goes to the Westerveld Cemetery in Driehuis, where the murdered politician was buried for several months. Fortuyn was later reburied in the Italian village of Provesano, where he had a second home. 

Former politician Hilbrand Nawijn of the party Lijst Pim Fortuyn and others will give a speech at the Media Park in Hilversum, where Fortuyn was shot dead by Volkert van der G. on 6 May 2002. Back in Rotterdam, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb will speak in the town hall, and the Pim Fortuyn Prize will be awarded to the opinion maker, politician, or administrator who best propagates Fortuyn’s ideas.

The day of remembrance will end with a silent march to the statue of Fortuyn on the Pim Fortuynplaats, where participants will observe two minutes of silence.

Twenty years after his murder, two-thirds of Netherlands residents are positive about Fortuyn and his ideas. An even larger group (72 percent) agree that Fortuyn was important to our country, EenVandaag concluded in a survey of nearly 30,000 members of its opinion panel. 

Although Fortuyn’s sympathizers are nowadays mainly on the right-wing of the political spectrum, voters from D66 (43 percent), SP (50 percent), and PvdD (44 percent) are also positive about the politician. One respondent said that Fortuyn “pulled problems out of the taboo,” and another said the “political commotion” he caused was “much needed.” 45 percent of respondents said that Fortuyn fueled dichotomy in society. 

EenVandaag presented Fortuyn’s views to the opinion panel. Only 4 percent labeled his ideas as “far-right,” 71 percent placed the deceased politician in the center or right of the political spectrum. Fortuyn’s views on the Dutch immigration policy can now count on majority support. 73 percent of respondents agree with Fortuyn’s position that refugees can be better received in their own region. About 60 percent agree with Fortuyn’s idea that the norms and values of Islam do not fit into Dutch society. 

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