PVV leader Geert Wilders puts the likelihood of reaching a deal on new spending cuts this spring at 50:50, saying ‘the will is there to succeed but they will be very tough talks’.
In a rare 15-minute interview with RTL news, the leader of the anti-Islam party said he would go ‘to the maximum’ to reach a deal but ‘if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work’.
Wilders, who supports the minority coalition on the economy in return for tighter immigration rules, has already said he wants a €4bn cut in development aid before he will agree to any new savings.
Wilders is also opposed to any increase in pension premiums and says measures already agreed to curb immigration must be implemented.
Talks on new cuts will begin in the spring, after new economic forecasts are published on March 20 when it will become clear what the government will need to do to reduce the budget deficit.
The PVV leader also used the interview to attack the Socialist Party, which is now more popular than the PVV in the opinion polls.
If the talks on new cuts fail, there is a chance the SP and Labour will come to power, he said. ‘Then the Netherlands will become a country you don’t want to live in,’ he said.
The SP is a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, he said. The Netherlands with the SP in power would be ‘less safe, more European and more expensive’ and there would be ‘more refugees and immigration,’ Wilders said.
The SP has gained seven seats in the latest polls since mid-December, while the PVV has lost seven. Pollsters say many PVV voters are now defecting to the SP.