If Italians and Spaniards are under the impression that the Netherlands is refusing to help them cope with the impact of coronavirus disease, their own leaders share the blame with the Dutch’s lack of tact.
Dutch parliamentarians narrowly approved an EU trade agreement with Canada on Tuesday, but ratification of the treaty faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling parties do not have a majority.
If the pact isn’t supported by the Netherlands — one of the EU’s most liberal and free-trading nations — it would call the bloc’s ambition to uphold the global trade regime in lieu of American leadership into doubt.
A split on the Dutch far right has given Prime Minister Mark Rutte an alternative to deals with left-wing opposition parties in the upper house of parliament.
The four ruling center-right parties lost their majority in the Senate in May, going down from 38 to 32 out of 75 seats. It looked like they would need the opposition Labor Party and Greens for a majority, who were happy to exchange their support for more left-wing policies.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte appears to be weathering what he describes as the worst political crisis of his nine years in power.
Rutte’s four-party government has seen protests by builders and farmers against far-reaching plans to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution.
Now motorists are angry too. To cut emissions, the coalition has agreed to lower the daytime speed limit on Dutch highways from 130 to 100 kilometers per hour. The measure is hugely unpopular in Rutte’s car-friendly liberal party.
The Dutch are happier than ever. Austerity is over. The immigration crisis has receded from the headlines. The government this week announced €3 billion in tax cuts and is planning a long-term investment fund worth up to €50 billion. Support for anti-establishment parties is down. Just 16 percent want to leave the EU anymore. Read more “Happy Little Country”
The ruling parties in the Netherlands have managed to win an extra two seats in the Senate, giving them more room for negotiation with opposition parties.
The projection was that the four parties in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s coalition win would thirty out of 75 seats in the upper chamber, which would have made them dependent on the Greens to pass legislation.
Dutch voters punished Euroskeptic parties of the left and right on Thursday, according to unofficial election results and an exit poll.
The far-right Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, and the far-left Socialists would struggle to retain their seats in the European Parliament. The former currently has four, the latter two.
An exit poll conducted by Ipsos gives the two parties one seat each. But voting results from 732 of 9340 polling places suggest neither might qualify at all. The exit poll has a one-seat margin of error.
The official result is not announced until Sunday night, when all the EU’s 28 member states will have voted. But Dutch law requires individual polling places to read out their results on election night. Volunteers for the populist blog GeenStijl tallied the results, which were then analyzed by Ipsos’ competitor, Peil.nl. Read more “Dutch Voters Punish Euroskeptics, Give Labor Victory”
A week ago, it looked like the ruling parties in the Netherlands had managed to contain their losses in midterm elections.
Although three of the four parties that share power lost support, and the far right posted its best result to date, the government was not expected to become completely dependent on any one opposition party in the Senate.
Mark Rutte has suffered the same fate as his closest ally in Europe, Angela Merkel. Both center-right leaders moved to the middle in a bid for centrist voters only to leave a gap on the right that the far right has filled.
In midterm elections on Wednesday, the Dutch Freedom Party and Forum for Democracy won a combined 21 percent of the votes, their best result to date.