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Dutch government veers sharply right after four-party coalition deal


When presenting the coalition agreement, PVV leader Geert Wilders said he is very much looking forward to the upcoming collaboration with NSC, BBB and the VVD. He also said that ‘the sun will shine again in the Netherlands’.

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The Dutch government has veered sharply to the right after four right-wing parties agreed to form a coalition.

Anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders, who topped the polls in last year’s election, struck a deal with three other party leaders on Thursday, capping months of tumultuous negotiations that left it unclear who would become prime minister.

The new agreement, framed with the slogan “Hope, courage and pride”, includes plans to impose strict measures on asylum seekers, scrap family reunification for refugees and reduce the number of international students studying in the country.

At one point, the 26-page document says the government will seek to “Deport people without a valid residence permit as much as possible, even forcibly”.

“The sun will shine again in the Netherlands,” said Wilders, a longtime campaigner against immigration and the presence of Muslims in Dutch public life. “We are writing history today.”

The parties have yet to agree on who will serve as prime minister, but they are widely expected to opt for a technocrat from outside the party structures.

Wind of change

Some EU countries, notably Poland, have recently voted out populists from government, while others, including Spain, have seen their leading right-wing parties underperform.

However, the sight of a previously unsuccessful right-wing ideologue now entering government in one of the EU’s core member states is deeply alarming to the EU’s left-wing and centrist governments and political parties, many of whom are worried about the makeup of the European Parliament after the upcoming bloc-wide elections.

Hard-right and populist parties are now part of or leading several EU governments, and they seem positioned to make gains in the upcoming European elections, potentially shifting politics in Brussels towards anti-migrant, socially conservative and nationalist policies.

Wilders has been a political ally of right-wing leaders such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, and French opposition leader Marine Le Pen, all of whom have invoked Brussels as an enemy of their own nationalist goals to different extents.



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