Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: No investigation apparent at MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Kerry due in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Europe

Rightist VVD to form minority government backed by anti-Islam party

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-08

Dutch Queen Beatrix has asked the leader of the pro-business VVD party, Mark Rutte, to form a minority cabinet. The anti-Islam party of Geert Wilders (photo) will not be in the government but will provide key support to the ruling coalition.

AFP - Dutch Queen Beatrix cleared the leader of the rightist, pro-business VVD party, Mark Rutte, to form a minority cabinet backed by anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, the prime Minister-elect said Friday.
   
"The Queen asked me to take charge of forming a cabinet" of the VVD and the Christian Democratic CDA, Rutte told journalists after meeting the monarch at her palace in The Hague.
   
"I gladly agreed."
   
Under a deal finalised a week ago, the controversial Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) will remain outside of government.
   
But, in exchange for a say in policy making, it will provide the support that the minority VVD-CDA coalition needs to pass decisions in parliament.
   
Wilders, who campaigns for a ban on the burqa and an end to Muslim immigration, went on trial in Amsterdam on Monday on charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims.
   
Rutte, the first premier of a Dutch party that labels itself liberal since 1918, said he intended presenting a cabinet comprising six ministers and four deputies each for the VVD and CDA by next Thursday.
   
"Discussions will start tomorrow," he said, adding that CDA leader Maxime Verhagen, currently foreign minister, would be his deputy Prime Minister.
   
The government communication service added in a statement that Queen Beatrix had asked Rutte "to form a cabinet as soon as possible".
   
Rutte's VVD narrowly won the June poll with 31 out of 150 seats in parliament, while Wilders' PVV was the biggest climber: it increased its support from nine to 24 seats to come third.
   
The CDA, which has been in nearly all governments since World War II, saw its presence dwindle from 41 to 21 seats.
   
The last government, a CDA-led coalition under premier Jan Peter Balkenende, fell in February in a dispute over continued military support to NATO forces in Afghanistan.
   
The parliamentary caucus of the CDA, deeply divided over cooperation with Wilders, finally gave the government deal the go-ahead on Tuesday after much internal wrangling.
   
Wilders, 47, risks up to a year in jail or a 7,600-euro (10,500-dollar) fine if convicted for describing Islam as "fascist" and its holy book, the Koran, as "the Islamic Mein Kampf".
   
On a mission to "stop the Islamisation of the Netherlands", he announced last week that the government accord would lead to a ban of the burqa and halve immigration.
   
Earlier Thursday, an official appointed by the Queen to oversee the formation of a governing coalition approved the minority government deal.
   
Ivo Opstelten recommended that the Queen task Rutte with forming a VVD-CDA cabinet with PVV backing, saying it could count on "fruitful cooperation" with the lower house of parliament.
   
In June, negotiators ruled out a leftist coalition involving the PvdA labour party, which came second in the elections with 30 seats.
   
At the time, party leaders said no agreement could be found on economic policy.
   
Under the VVD-CDA agreement, government spending will be cut by 18 billion euros per year (24 billion dollars) by 2015.
   
The Netherlands' contribution to the European Union will be cut by one billion euros, a billion euros shaved off development cooperation and another 1.2 billion off health care.
   
The number of MPs will be reduced from 150 to 100 and the number of senators from 75 to 50.
 

Date created : 2010-10-08

  • THE NETHERLANDS

    Dutch far-right party scores victory in local vote

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Netherlands begins formal withdrawal after four years

    Read more

COMMENT(S)