Dutch politician Wilders seeks brand status: report

Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:12am EDT
 
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch politician Geert Wilders, head of the anti-Islam Freedom Party, is now a "brand name" politician, a Dutch newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Famous for his sharp criticism of Islam, his opposition to immigration and more recently his rejection of bailing out fellow euro zone members, Wilders wields considerable influence even though his party is not a member of the ruling coalition.

The Freedom Party, the third-largest in parliament, is the minority coalition government's key ally, providing crucial support when the government needs a majority to pass legislation.

Wilders stands out among Dutch politicians because of his mane of bleached-blond hair and was nicknamed "the golden pompadour" in U.S. diplomatic cables disclosed by WikiLeaks.

Het Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday that the Freedom Party and Wilders have been registered as trademarks to prevent misuse of their names.

The paper said that Wilders' trademark application included a category for seeds, plants and flowers, adding that Wilders had a tulip named after him earlier this year.

(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

 
<p>Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders of the Freedom Party listen in the courtroom in Amsterdam June 23, 2011. REUTERS/POOL/Robin Utrecht</p>