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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Dutch press in shock
An arrest is made after the shooting of Pim Fortuyn
The Dutch political model has died too, says Het Parool
The Dutch press expresses the nation's shock at the assassination of far-right politician Pim Fortuyn.

The NRC Handelsblad daily reports "Rage and tears in Rotterdam", the city where Mr Fortuyn shot to prominence in March by winning more than a third of council seats.


This colourful politician, who put security high on the agenda, was shot dead in the middle of a particularly exciting election campaign

Algemeen Dagblad
In the country's second city itself, the Rotterdams Dagblad declares starkly: "Fortuyn's death shocks the Netherlands".

The Protestant daily Trouw records public disbelief after the murder while for the Algemeen Dagblad, the headline is "bewilderment".

"The brutal murder of Pim Fortuyn... has shocked the Netherlands. This colourful politician, who put security high on the agenda, was shot dead in the middle of a particularly exciting election campaign," it says.

Threat of chaos

Het Parool worries about the possible far-reaching impact of Mr Fortuyn's death.

"The Dutch political model has been gunned down too," it says.


Things have to be kept under control if we are to avoid further bloodshed

De Volkskrant
However controversial he was while alive, "without Pim Fortuyn there is a true threat of chaos", it declares.

"Fortuyn's death has pushed the Netherlands into its most serious domestic crisis since 1945."

De Volkskrant considers Prime Minister Wim Kok's dilemma: postpone the elections scheduled for next Wednesday and risk the fury of Mr Fortuyn's supporters, who are hoping for a sympathy vote - or go ahead as normal?

The paper's preference is for a short delay.

"It is inevitable that emotions will run high as a result of this attack, but things have to be kept under control if we are to avoid further bloodshed," it warns.

"There is a huge danger that intense resentment will gain the upper hand in this extremely polarised climate.

Political earthquake

De Volkskrant describes Mr Fortuyn's death as "the first political murder in Dutch modern history", saying that the Netherlands has lost its innocence in the "repugnant and incredible attack."


This charismatic outsider was on the point of bringing about an earthquake in the Dutch political scene

Financieele Dagblad
An obituary in Het Financieele Dagblad warned that while Mr Fortuyn - a "polarising and charismatic thinker" - may be dead, the issues that he raised will survive.

"This charismatic outsider was on the point of bringing about an earthquake in the Dutch political scene - a man with a mission," it said.

"Fortuyn will not be around to see where his political adventure will finish... But the premature and uniquely dramatic end of his political aspirations does not negate the fact that he has started a process which established politicians can no longer ignore."

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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