223 days of waiting for a new government. “The political chaos in the Netherlands is only just beginning”

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Ban the Koran, close the borders, hold a referendum on EU membership – these are the most extreme ideas of the winner of the Dutch parliamentary elections. Now we know that Geert Wilders will probably not implement them, because the controversial politician had to step into the background. The new prime minister assures that Wilders will not control his cabinet from the back seat. However, this is not the only reservation that has been raised about the new government.

This is what a civilized transfer of power looks like, something the whole world could learn from the Dutch. Mark Rutte, who is warmly bid farewell by his successor, leaves, greeting the journalists at the end. The new Prime Minister Dick Schoof also bows to them. “This is the first meeting with the entire Council of Ministers. I am looking forward to it and I will undoubtedly see many of you often in the coming years, which I am also looking forward to,” the new Prime Minister of the Netherlands told the journalists.

The Netherlands waited for a new government for 223 days, because that is how much time passed between the autumn snap elections and the King's swearing in of the new cabinet.

In an extremely fragmented political scene, a four-party coalition has finally been formed, the strongest of which is the far-right Freedom Party of Geert Wilders. However, the controversial politician has had to step into the background, as have other coalition party leaders.

READ ALSO: There is an agreement to form a government in the Netherlands

The new prime minister is to be a guarantor of apoliticality. Dick Schoof, 67, is a civil servant, and in the past he was, among others, head of intelligence, coordinator of counter-terrorism, and also supervised the immigration service. When asked if Geert Wilders will control the government from the back seat, Schoof replies that he does not see himself “walking on a leash”.

Mark Rutte is the new head of NATO Reuters

New policy towards the EU

Despite promises, most of the members of the new cabinet are politicians, not independent experts. The Dutch, tired of months of political haggling, are unlikely to breathe a sigh of relief.

Brussels portal Politico assesses: “Apart from the desire to govern, the coalition partners have almost nothing in common. It seems that the political chaos in the Netherlands – instead of ending with the appointment of the prime minister – is only just beginning.” The chaos may be deepened by the three-front war that the new cabinet is to start with Brussels. The government coalition wants the Netherlands to cease to be bound by some of the provisions negotiated by previous governments on immigration and ecology. It also wants to reduce the contribution to the common EU budget by over one and a half billion euros.

Marke Rutte, who promised to leave politics last year, will finally stop attending EU summits, but only once a new prime minister is elected.

Mark Rutte was supposed to focus on his academic career but was elected as the new Secretary General of NATO. The Dutchman is known for his uncompromising stance towards Putin's Russia. Rutte and his countrymen learned the hard way how ruthless the Kremlin can be after the attack on flight MH17 in 2014. A Russian missile attack over Ukrainian territory killed 193 Dutch people. Despite the overwhelming evidence, Putin has washed his hands of it to this day.

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main image source: PAP/EPA/REMKO DE WAAL



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