Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Netherlands shifts right with new government led by Geert Wilders’ party

Dutch Coalition Deal Shifts Country Toward Hard Right Under Geert Wilders

Anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders and three other party leaders have reached a coalition deal that shifts the Netherlands towards the hard right. The agreement, titled “Hope, courage and pride,” includes stringent measures on asylum seekers, ends family reunification for refugees, and aims to decrease the number of international students in the country.

One of the key points in the 26-page document is the directive to deport individuals without a valid residence permit, even using force if necessary. Wilders, a prominent figure in the hard-right movement in Europe, celebrated the deal, stating that it marks the strongest asylum policy the Netherlands has ever seen.

With the rise of hard-right and populist parties across the European Union, Wilders and his allies are poised to make significant gains in the upcoming EU elections. Wilders, known for his alliances with leaders like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and French opposition leader Marine Le Pen, expressed his pride in his party’s newfound position of power.

Despite his personal compromises, Wilders will not be the next prime minister, with speculation pointing towards a technocrat from outside the party structures, potentially Ronald Plasterk from the Labor Party. The coalition deal also includes commitments to combat climate change, support Ukraine, and uphold NATO’s defense spending standards.

However, the agreement’s stance against further EU enlargement may draw criticism from EU headquarters, as many member nations advocate for the addition of countries like Ukraine. The parties will present the program to parliament for review before a debate is held next week. This significant shift towards the hard right in Dutch politics is expected to have far-reaching implications for the country and the EU as a whole.

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