THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch anti-Islam opposition lawmaker Geert Wilders has copied part of Australia’s approach to stopping boat migrants by making a video telling would-be asylum seekers considering making the treacherous boat crossing from North Africa to Europe: “You will not make the Netherlands home.”
The video, posted on Wilders’ website, echoes a similar message recorded by the Australian government last year that warns immigrants: “Anyone who travels illegally by boat will not make Australia home.”
In Wilders’ video, which could be seen on his Freedom Party’s website on Wednesday, he says in English: “No way.”
Wilders, whose popularity in the Netherlands is based mainly on his tough anti-Islam, anti-immigration rhetoric, then switches to speaking in Dutch to call for European Union navy patrols to send back all migrants they intercept and not transport them to Europe.
Leaders of the European Union will gather Thursday in Brussels for an emergency summit in the wake of a shipwreck off Libya last weekend that authorities believe may have killed more than 800 migrants.
Ahead of that meeting, Italy urged the EU to take tougher action against the human tide.
Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said human smugglers should be targeted with military action and Premier Matteo Renzi urged the EU to swiftly craft a long-range, comprehensive policy on the migrants.
In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott also suggested Europe follow his country’s lead in turning away asylum seekers’ boats.
“The only way you can stop the deaths is to stop the people-smuggling trade. The only way you can stop the deaths is, in fact, to stop the boats,” Abbott told reporters in the nation’s capital, Canberra, on Tuesday.
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