Learn more about Marco Pastors
|Born||September 10, 1965
Marco Pastors (Beneden-Leeuwen, 10 September 1965) is a Dutch politician. He is currently political leader of the local party Leefbaar Rotterdam, a member of the city council for Rotterdam and the political leader of Een NL, a Dutch political party at the national level. Between 2002 and 2005 he was also an alderman (comparable to a deputy mayor) of Rotterdam.
 Early life
In his political pamphlet At your service <ref>Marco Pastors Tot uw Dienst (in English: At your service) Uitgeverij van Praag Amsterdam 2006 ISBN 9049026028 </ref> which was published in 2006 he described his catholic and rural upbringing as unremarkable, with his parents' problematic marriage as a recurring theme. He obtained a degree in economics from Erasmus University in 1989 and from 1990 to 1993 he worked for OV-studentenkaart BV (a company managing public transportation for students) then headed by the late Pim Fortuyn, his future political ally. He then went on to work for Getronics and later on for Zenc (an IT provider for the public sector) of which he was a co-founder.
 Local politics
Pastors started his political career in January 2002 when his formed boss Fortuyn was elected leader of Leefbaar Rotterdam. He was given the responsibility for infrastructure and housing as an alderman and he focused on improving living conditions in some of the Rotterdam slum areas. He introduced measures which allowed tenants to buy their house and also introduced legislation banning prospective residents without a proper income or job prospects given the high unemployment and poverty in some residential area's. Some of these initiatives (called the Rotterdam Wet) were supported by national politicians.
Pastors was critical of the proliferation of mosques, the erection of minarets <ref> (Dutch) Marco Pastors, erfgenaam van... Nederlandse Omroep Stichting 9 February 2006 Link</ref> and was opposed to practises associated with new immigrants with a Muslim background such as honor killings, polygamy, forced marriage and suppression of women. On a regular basis he was challenged for making denigrating remarks at the expense of the Muslim minority and left-wing politicians which he perceived as politically correct.
A denigrating remark regarding immigration and the political party Groen Links in the beginning of 2005 resulted in Pastors colliding with the city council and he was forced to further refrain from public comments on immigration and integration. In October 2005 he again collided with the city council when he commented in a Catholic newspaper that Muslims abused their religion when justifying some of their actions <ref> Official Rotterdam Municipality statement 9-11-2005 Link</ref>. As a result the city council forced him out as an Alderman on November 8 2005. In the 2006 municipal elections in Rotterdam Leefbaar Rotterdam polled about a third of the vote, but lost 3 of their 17 seats and the Pastors-led party therefore moved to the opposition benches.
 National politics
In 2006 Pastors started a new political party called Eén NL together with Joost Eerdmans formerly a member of the Lijst Pim Fortuyn which will participate in the Dutch general election, 2006 <ref>(Dutch) Eén NL en meer politieke partijen Nederlandse Omroep Stichting 23 August 2006 Link.</ref> Its main campaign issues are reforms in social security, education and integration of minorities. The party is pro law and order, anti bureaucracy. According to the new party new immigrants should understand that Western culture is the dominant culture. <ref>(Dutch) Nieuwe partij Pastors en Eerdmans: Eén NL Elsevier 23 August 2006 Link</ref>