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The Netherlands drifts to the far right

​Dutch far-right politician and leader of the PVV party Geert Wilders.

Dutch far-right politician and leader of the PVV party Geert Wilders.

REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician notorious for his fervent anti-Islam and anti-migrant views, has struck a deal to form a coalition government — making the Netherlands the latest EU country to drift to the hard right.

After months of talks, Wilders on Wednesday said his Party for Freedom, or PVV, had reached an agreement with the center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the centrist New Social Contract party, and the populist Farmer Citizen Movement.

But there’s a catch. It’s unclear who will be appointed prime minister, though we know it won’t be Wilders, given that it was one of the concessions he made to get parties to the negotiation table following a shocking victory in November’s election.

“We have a deal among negotiators, and we will return to the position of prime minister at a later moment,” Wilders said Wednesday.

Pieter Omtzigt, leader of the NSC, said the next PM will need to be a leader who “unites” in order for the new government to succeed. It remains to be seen who might be a palatable choice for the new uneasy coalition, and we’ll be watching this space closely.

Dutch media reports have pointed to Ronald Plasterk, the former interior minister and a Labour party veteran, as a leading contender for prime minister — but nothing is set in stone.


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