Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    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)