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Saturday 1 November  
Mark Rutte, Maxime Verhagen, Geert Wilders
Nicola Chadwick's picture
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The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands

Dutch right-wing parties reach agreement on coalition

Published on : 28 September 2010 - 8:45pm | By Nicola Chadwick (Photo: ANP)
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Coalition talks in the Netherlands appear to have resulted in right-wing government supported by the far right. Negotiators reached agreement on Tuesday evening on the details of a coalition agreement between the free-market liberal VVD and Christian Democrats (CDA). A second agreement on parliamentary support by the Freedom Party has also been finalised. Tuesday was 111th day of the formation. Earlier in the evening, VVD leader Mark Rutte said the new cabinet will be named Rutte-Verhagen, acknowledging CDA leader Maxime Verhagen's role in the coalition.

Negotiators spent hours on the wording of the documents as the tone is particularly important to the Christian Democrats. VVD leader Mark Rutte announced that the three parties had reached agreement. CDA leader Maxime Verhagen declined to quote a motto for the new cabinet. He said he had faith that he could persuade his party to back the deal. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders called it a historic moment. He said “who would have thought that the Freedom Party would have a huge amount of influence in government a couple of years ago.”  Mark Rutte is set to become the first VVD prime minister since 1918.

Minority government
The  minority VVD-Christian Democrat government will rely on parliamentary support from the far-right Freedom Party for a majority in the Lower House. On Wednesday, two agreements will be presented to the three parliamentary parties and the negotiators will report back to coalition broker Ivo Opstelten on Thursday. The details of the agreements will also be made public on Thursday.

The Christian Democrat Party is holding a special congress on Saturday to seek approval from its members for the deal. All eyes will then be on the CDA, as many members of the party have expressed grave concerns about the cooperation with Geert Wilders' anti-Islam Freedom Party. Christian Democrat leader Maxime Verhagen has faced broadsides from a string of party elder statesmen, and two dissident CDA MPs threaten the coalition's flimsy one-seat majority. To complicate matters further, on Saturday Mr Wilders will be giving an anti-Islam speech in Berlin.

Right-wing
Negotiations for a right-wing cabinet headed by VVD leader Mark Rutte have been underway since 5 August, after the failure of talks on a possible 'purple' cabinet, comprising the 'blue' VVD and three 'red' left-of-centre parties.

The talks for a rightwing cabinet were broken off in early September after the Freedom Party pulled out doubting CDA resolve to see the negotiations through. A letter by CDA co-negotiator Ab Klink voicing his reservations had been leaked to the press. After the resignation of Mr Klink, the Freedom Party agreed to come back to the negotiating table.

Ill-fated adventure
Earlier in the day, Labour Party leader Job Cohen has called the prospect of a right-wing government with support from the Freedom Party “the worst conceivable outcome of the coalition talks”. Socialist Party leader Emile Roemer says he is concerned about the measures in the agreements. Democrat D66 leader Alexander Pechtold called the development “an ill-fated adventure”.  

It was in the Freedom Party's interests to conclude the talks this week because as of Monday, Mr Wilders is due to appear in court in Amsterdam for a total of six days (over the course of a fortnight) on charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims.

 

Discussion

Anonymous 10 October 2010 - 8:00pm

Nederland must watch out the most precious and powerful Islamic strategy. It is a legal system. It is powerful. It is not war or killing people nor a car bombing or suicide bombing. The most powerful Islamic strategy to conquer the nederland is COLONIZATION. 1400 years of Islamic history has prove it. Terror, intimidation and killing infidel is just the final finishing strategy to make sure 100% mission accomplished.

Anonymous 10 October 2010 - 8:00pm

Nederland must watch out the most precious and powerful Islamic strategy. It is a legal system. It is powerful. It is not war or killing people nor a car bombing or suicide bombing. The most powerful Islamic strategy to conquer the nederland is COLONIZATION. 1400 years of Islamic history has prove it. Terror, intimidation and killing infidel is just the final finishing strategy to make sure 100% mission accomplished.

Anonymous 10 October 2010 - 7:59pm

Nederland must watch out the most precious and powerful Islamic strategy. It is a legal system. It is powerful. It is not war or killing people nor a car bombing or suicide bombing. The most powerful Islamic strategy to conquer the nederland is COLONIZATION. 1400 years of Islamic history has prove it. Terror, intimidation and killing infidel is just the final finishing strategy to make sure 100% mission accomplished.

Anonymous 8 October 2010 - 1:46am / USA

The background of Geert and his party look suspicious. In the USA we have motley-looking so-called 'patriots' who are actually funded by foreign corporations and programmed to sabotage our society from within with nonsense, not unlike the foreign-funded-and-trained American Nazis pretending to be American patriots. I doubt that the Netherlands will ever have a terribly bad reputation in the eyes of the world, for very long anyway, but people will wonder what's going on when the nation seems to act so much out-of-character. Europe has old established cultures; in the USA we have the experience with continually integrating new cultures. If you want to live here, you need to abide by the laws and principles of American institutions, and your religion or traditions are no excuse for wife-beating, gay-bashing, or wearing costumes that hide your face and individual identity... those habits need to be left behind at the border. Also of course is the major problem of greedy corporations that bring in slave labor and couldn't care less about the social consequences, as long as they make higher profits.

Anonymous 4 October 2010 - 6:35pm / you know

In good German Wilders will soon write: "Mein Kampf zum Abgrund"

Anonymous 4 October 2010 - 4:04pm / you know

Patriotism, and hatred of "non-Western people" is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Anonymous 4 October 2010 - 4:00pm / you know

Wilders will write soon his own'Mein Kampf to Disaster".

Anonymous 4 October 2010 - 2:43pm / you know

Wilders wants to grind the manhood out of the Muslims, and the shame is his not theirs, and he shall pay for it, for sure.

Anonymous 4 October 2010 - 6:29am / Indonesia

I used to be a Dutch national, but thankfully not anymore. My brothers still live in the Netherlands and are Dutch nationals (meaning they carry Dutch passports). Now with this fascist government they will face discrimination the Netherlands has never had before. They won't get any government benefits because they are presumed to be Muslim even though they are not. Had I kept my dutch passport, Wilders would have questioned my right to be Dutch and might have canceled my Dutch nationality and taken my passport away. The language Wilders uses against Muslims means we cannot rule out the future use of concentration camps and gas chambers.

Francois 2 October 2010 - 11:46pm

Amazing that the words have now turned from integration to assimilation of immigrants. Ah the changing goal posts keep shifting as always. Let's wait and see what happens.

Francois 30 September 2010 - 7:08pm / Netherlands

The Blond Hitler is marching on. Soon Europe will witness a new holocaust led by Geert Wilders. Xenophobic tendencies are rising all over the world but mostly in Europe and the USA. This will lead to protectionism and a scaling back of globalization. The silver lining may actually emerge from very unlikely places such as China, Latin America and Africa. As the west abandons all their free market principles and become more insular the emerging economies will attract more business and influence. As for the Netherlands the Dutch populace is experiencing the boiling frog principle where they are gradually being acclimatized to the warmth of the far right. With time they will gladly vote for even more far right wing policies which will make them usher in the Fourth Reich Dutch style. As far as tightening immigration their is no more room for further tightening without eroding fundamental rights which is why they now want to rewrite international treaties. The solutions proposed by Geert Wilders will eventually prove unworkable and then he will simply suggest the best option is to gas Muslims and exterminate them from the world. After that Christians beginning with the Catholics will be next and then maybe Africans until he has only blonds like him left.

Francois 30 September 2010 - 7:02pm / Netherlands

The Blond Hitler is marching on. Soon Europe will witness a new holocaust led by Geert Wilders. Xenophobic tendencies are rising all over the world but mostly in Europe and the USA. This will lead to protectionism and a scaling back of globalization. The silver lining may actually emerge from very unlikely places such as China, Latin America and Africa. As the west abandons all their free market principles and become more insular the emerging economies will attract more business and influence. As for the Netherlands the Dutch populace is experiencing the boiling frog principle where they are gradually being acclimatized to the warmth of the far right. With time they will gladly vote for even more far right wing policies which will make them usher in the Fourth Reich Dutch style. As far as tightening immigration their is no more room for further tightening without eroding fundamental rights which is why they now want to rewrite international treaties. The solutions proposed by Geert Wilders will eventually prove unworkable and then he will simply suggest the best option is to gas Muslims and exterminate them from the world. After that Christians beginning with the Catholics will be next and then maybe Africans until he has only blonds like him left.

Anonymous 1 October 2010 - 3:38pm / lalaland

In the end there will be only people left with blond painted hair(including blond painted pubic hair).

David Berridge 30 September 2010 - 2:29am / Canada

Yours is an interesting commentary, Hiram. Who then pulls Geert's strings in his leadership of the PVV? He's not telling!! By the responses given so far to this new government up to this point in time, the complete consenus, save for yourself, of course, is that it will be very much short lived, Geert despite himself ,is pulling these strings as well!!

Anonymous 29 September 2010 - 8:09pm / Belgium

This government wont last long I think.

JW 29 September 2010 - 5:46pm / NL

The most significant result of this will be that voters will be summoned to the polls in a few months time.

David Berridge 29 September 2010 - 4:01pm / Canada

The title and office of Prime Minister in the Netherlands has now come to mean that of puppet, now that Geert and the PVV are pulling the strings of Mark Rutte and the VVD. This arrangement will not provide a solid and stable government, especially now that the CDA is substantially weakened. This agreement by its process will serve no positive returns no matter how long or short this Parliament lasts in attempting to reach its full mandate. The Labour party under Job Cohen should have done far more in pursuit of a Grand Coalition, in order to head off what is now termed "the worst possible outcome", to what is now in reality a self-fulfilled prediction.

Hiram2 29 September 2010 - 10:34pm

David Berridge, they are all puppets and they all get their strings pulled by someone. Everyone on this planet is a puppet. I bet even you get your strings pulled by someone. Maybe the Canadian government at tax time!

Andre L. 29 September 2010 - 1:00pm / Tilburg, Netherlands

I don't support all Geert Wilders program, and think he is over the line in various aspects, but people voted his party. I recognize his merit on bringing to the center of the debate the issue of lack of assimilation of Muslim immigrants, though I don't agree with his solutions.

Anonymous 29 September 2010 - 12:47pm / you know

A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy. You can't adopt politics as a profession and remain honest.

Anonymous 29 September 2010 - 6:50am

Shame on all of them! Wilders should be excluded from any government, even in a supporting role. The hope now is that the CDA will show itself to be Christian in deed as well as in name and reject this. The name of the Netherlands will now come into disrepute.

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