Geert Wilders: “We can make (Netherlands) a beautiful country again with fewer asylum seekers and crime, more money and houses for our own people.”
The Dutch government has collapsed over bitter disagreement within the four-party coalition on how to deal with the issue of uncontrolled mass-migration. Prime Minster Mark Rutte resigned on Saturday, paving the way for fresh elections.
Prime Minster Rutte’s centrist coalition became shaky after Dutch people rejected his European Union-backed climate policies which threaten to put farmers out of business with strict emission regulations. The move triggered nationwide protests and led to the formation of the pro-farmer “BoerBurger Beweging” (BBB) party.
Weakened by the farmers protests, the country’s ruling coalition fell apart over immigration policy. “After months of speculation about whether Mark Rutte’s coalition would collapse under the weight of its differences on farming and nitrogen reduction, it foundered on another issue that has been rumbling below the surface for months: immigration,” the news website Dutch News noted.
The coalition collapsed over Prime Minster Rutte’s proposal to restrict immigration, as the country smaller than West Virginia faced record number of asylum seekers—largely from Muslim-majority North Africa and the Middle East. “Asylum applications in the Netherlands jumped by over a third last year to more than 47,000 and government figures said earlier this year that they expected roughly 70,000 applications in 2023,” the BBC reported.
The move to limit the number of migrants was opposed by two coalition partners, namely the Christian Union and social-liberal Democrats 66. Apart from the BBB and the Geert Wilders-led Freedom Party (PVV), Dutch political parties across the spectrum support EU’s open borders policy.
The Associated Press reported:
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited the king Saturday to turn in the resignation of his four-party coalition and set the deeply divided Netherlands on track for a general election later this year. (…)
Rutte declined to answer reporters’ questions as he drove away from the meeting that lasted over an hour, saying the talks with the monarch were private.
The vexed issue of reining in migration that has troubled countries across Europe for years was the final stumbling block that brought down Rutte’s government Friday night, exposing the deep ideological differences between the four parties that made up the uneasy coalition.
Now it is likely to dominate campaigning for an election that is still months away.
“We are the party that can ensure a majority to significantly restrict the flow of asylum seekers,” said Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Party for Freedom, who supported Rutte’s first minority coalition 13 years ago, but also ultimately brought it down.
Recent projections show the farmer-friendly BBB party leading in polls. In March, the party emerged as the biggest party in the regional election, winning over 20 percent of the vote.
Geert Wilder’s anti-mass-immigration Freedom Party (PVV) was trailing at the fourth spot, behind outgoing Prime Minister Rutte’s conservatives and the Green Party (GL).
The Netherlands 🇳🇱
As the Dutch government collapses, a general election will take place later this year. Right now, the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) are ahead in the polls
BBB: 19% (+18)
VVD: 14% (-8)
GL: 9% (+4)
PVV: 8% (-2)
PvdA: 7% (+2)
D66: 7% (-8)
+/- vs 2021 result pic.twitter.com/sDDdZrwjrs
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) July 8, 2023
On Saturday, Wilder urged Dutch voters to support the PVV. “Dear people, we can make (Netherlands) a beautiful country again with fewer asylum seekers and crime, more money and houses for our own people, decent care, plenty of room for our farmers and fishermen,” he tweeted (translation via Twitter translation).
The elections for the new parliament are expected to be held later this year. “The elections for the new Tweede Kamer [lower house of the parliament] cannot be held until mid-November at the earliest, the Electoral Council announced on Friday after the fall of the Cabinet,” the Dutch news website NL Times reported. “According to the Electoral Council, Article 64 of the Constitution stipulates that the new Tweede Kamer must meet within three months of the dissolution decision.”DONATE
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