This content is not available in your region

Dutch government face test over coalition

Dutch government face test over coalition
Text size Aa Aa

After 111 days of intense negotiations, leaders of three Dutch centre-right parties have reached an agreement to form a minority government.

But the deal risks being overshadowed by a row over support from the anti-Islamist Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders.

For him, the outcome marks a move from the political wilderness to the centre of power.

Speaking to reporters outside the venue for the talks Wilders said: “A few years ago I was sitting all alone in a shed at the back of the government building. And now we will get a lot of influence as a party which has to support the government to make its plans possible.”

It remains unclear what concessions the two centre-right parties had to make for Wilders’ backing but there are indications of drastic cuts on spending on the integration of immigrants.

The Liberal Party (VVD) has approved the deal and its leader Mark Rutte, is expected to become the first Dutch liberal prime minister in almost a century.

Pending further discussions by the Christian Democrats parliamentary groups, the deal is expected to be officially presented on Thursday.