Dutch right-wing parties strike deal to form coalition government

Six months after Geert Wilders won a stunning election victory, squabbling politicians finally clinched an agreement Wednesday on a coalition government, said the Dutch far-right leader, who will not be prime minister.

"We have a negotiators' agreement," said Wilders, who had reluctantly agreed to give up his dream of running the European Union's fifth-largest economy amid widespread unease over his anti-Islam, anti-European views.

It was not immediately clear who would be prime minister to lead the right-wing coalition government and replace Mark Rutte, who is almost certain to be tapped as the new NATO secretary general.

"Discussions over the prime minister will be held at a later time," Wilders told reporters.

However, the main contender looks to be former education and interior minister Ronald Plasterk, who also played a key role in overseeing the initial talks.

Later on Wednesday, MPs for the four parties all gave their approval to the deal, the details of which were not immediately available.

In March, the four parties agreed to aim for a partially technocratic government made up of 50 percent politicians and 50 percent from outside politics.

"If not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow. Because the voices of millions of Dutch will be heard."

(AFP)


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