Dutch move closer to coalition deal with Wilders

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Dutch move closer to coalition deal with Wilders

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A minority coalition government in the Netherlands which has the support of the anti-Islamist Freedom Party (PVV) has come a step closer.

The Christian Democrats (CDA) voted in favour of the move by a two-thirds majority at a party congress in Arnhem.

The pact with another centre-right party the Liberals (VVD) paves the way for the Netherlands’ first post-war minority government.

It makes concessions to the populist leader Geert Wilders by including tighter immigration rules and a ban the full Islamic veil.

“This is a real celebration of democracy”, said the coalition negotiator.

A caretaker government has been running the Netherlands and a general election in June was inconclusive.

Geert Wilders’ party came third. One leading centre-right figure said his supporters couldn’t be ignored.

But another said he’d “driven a wedge in society”. On Monday he goes on trial for inciting racial hatred and discrimination against Muslims.