Far-right leader Wilders strikes a deal to form new coalition in the Netherlands

Chairman of the Dutch Freedom Party Geert Wilders speaks at Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC Hungary, in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, April 26, 2024
Chairman of the Dutch Freedom Party Geert Wilders speaks at Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC Hungary, in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, April 26, 2024 Copyright Associated Press
Copyright Associated Press
By Euronews with AP
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Six months after winning the Dutch national elections, far-right anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders has agreed to form a four-party coalition.

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Anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders has reached a deal on forming a four-party coalition in the Netherlands six months after coming in first in national elections, opening the prospect that yet another European Union nation will veer toward the hard right weeks ahead of EU-wide elections.

The coalition includes the Party for Freedom (PVV), the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the New Social Contract (NSC), and the Farmers-Citizens Movement (BBB). 

Wilders has said he does not expect to become prime minister himself because he remains too extreme for his coalition partners, but his Party for Freedom would be the driving force in a four-party coalition.

With hard right and populist parties now part of or leading a half dozen governments in the 27-nation bloc, they appear positioned to make gains in the EU polls, 6-9 June.

“I hope we will get there. I think we will get there. I cannot see it going wrong,” Wilders told Dutch broadcaster early on Wednesday after the four parties reached a deal on government financing, the last major stumbling bloc in the talks. It remains unclear who will become prime minister.

Wilders’ Party for Freedom won 37 seats in the 150-seat lower house of the Dutch parliament, and the four parties combined hold a comfortable majority of 88 seats.

After two decades in the opposition, Wilders seemed to have a shot at leading a nation that long prided itself on its tolerant society, but he has stepped aside in the interest of pushing through most of his agenda.

From Finland to Croatia, hard-line right parties are part of European governing coalitions, and hard-right prime ministers are leading Hungary, Slovakia, and Italy.

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