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Coalition talks collapse in Netherlands –

Coalition talks collapse in Netherlands –

In the Netherlands, an important party withdrew from coalition negotiations to form a government under the leadership of right-wing populist Geert Wilders. The New Social Contract Party said yesterday that it had “ended” this round of coalition talks due to disagreements over public finances. This made it impossible for Wilders to obtain a majority in government.

In a message to party members, Peter Omtsigt's National Security Council said it would continue to work “constructively” to form the government. This could, for example, amount to “constructive support for a minority government,” she added.

Wilders: “Disappointing”

Wilders described on Twitter the National Security Council's withdrawal from the talks as “disappointing.” He added: “The Netherlands wants this government and now Peter Omtzgut is surrendering, although we are still talking today.”

The right-wing populist Party for Freedom, led by Wilder, won the early parliamentary elections that took place in the Netherlands in November. As a coalition government, Wilders aimed to form a four-party coalition with former Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberal Party for Democracy, the National Security Council and the BBB farmers' party. However, without the National Security Council and 20 of the 150 seats in Parliament, he has no chance of forming a majority government.

Wilders' election victory was a political earthquake for the Netherlands. The right-wing populist is sometimes compared to former US President Donald Trump because of his violent polemics against immigrants and Muslims. His party's election manifesto called for, among other things, a ban on mosques, holding referendums on the Netherlands leaving the European Union, and stopping arms sales to Ukraine.

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