One of the parties negotiating with Islamophobic Geert Wilders' party to form a government in the Netherlands has pulled out in an unexpected and surprising fashion, dimming the populist far-right's chances of leading a government. A minority government is now the hypothesis.
The centrist NSC party, which won 20 seats in an election that saw Wilders' party top with 37, said “new information” about the government's finances made it clear the coalition could not fulfill election promises. “Financial expectations have changed in the coming years,” declared Pieter Omtzigt, head of the NSC, quoted by Reuters agency. “In any case, we don't want to make promises that we know are empty.”
The party needed a majority coalition between Wilders' PVV, former prime minister Mark Rudd's centre-right VVD party (now led by Dylan Yesilkas-Gegerius), with 24 seats in parliament and the BBB farmers' party (seven seats).
Wilders expressed his disbelief: “The Netherlands wants this government and now Omtzigt is giving up while we are still in negotiations. I don't understand it,” he said, as quoted by the British news agency.
Yesilgöz-Zegerius declared on the X social network that he was “very surprised” and that he hoped the four parties would “soon sit together and understand what's going on.” From the leader of the Farmers Party, Caroline van der Plas called the decision “disappointing”.
It is not clear whether the decision was actually related to finances – which was already considered an issue – or a further change of heart of Omdzigt in relation to Wilders' party (the NSC leader, before the election, refused to form a government with them. Radical politician).
However, public broadcaster NOS reported that the party could support a minority government. Newspaper NRC For its part, it pointed to seven scenarios of possible alliances, all of which it considered “problems”.
However, Wilders' party is growing in popularity. at Average Surveys from PoliticsThe PVV now has 32% support, up from 24% in the election.
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