(Verhagen and Wilders, photo)
Coalition talks in the Netherlands appear to have resulted in right-wing government supported by the far right. Negotiators reached agreement on Tuesday evening on the details of a coalition agreement between the free-market liberal VVD and Christian Democrats (CDA). A second agreement on parliamentary support by the Freedom Party has also been finalised. Tuesday was 111th day of the formation. Earlier in the evening, VVD leader Mark Rutte said the new cabinet will be named Rutte-Verhagen, acknowledging CDA leader Maxime Verhagen's role in the coalition.
Negotiators spent hours on the wording of the documents as the tone is particularly important to the Christian Democrats. VVD leader Mark Rutte announced that the three parties had reached agreement. CDA leader Maxime Verhagen declined to quote a motto for the new cabinet. He said he had faith that he could persuade his party to back the deal. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders called it a historic moment. He said “who would have thought that the Freedom Party would have a huge amount of influence in government a couple of years ago.” Mark Rutte is set to become the first VVD prime minister since 1918.
Farid Azarkan, chairman of the Cooperation Association of Moroccans in the Netherlands (SNM): "I think it's horrible (NL) that decent parties like the CDA and VVD are undertaking this with the PVV. I'm not alone on this, but many prominent CDA members think so as well."
Azarkan said he fears many people will not think that the positions of the PVV are not as crazy, once the CDA and VVD form a cabinet with the PVV support. "There is a certain degree of acceptance in it."
"The distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims would be enhanced by it," fears Azarkan. "and that won't be good for integration, which is now not going so badly."
Yusuf Altuntas, chairman of the Contact Organ for Muslims and Government, said his organization wants to remain calm on the topic. "The construction with a minority cabinet is remarkable, and we'll have to see what Wilders will add," says Altuntas.