Prime minister and CDA leader Jan Peter Balkenende was welcomed by supporters with chants of ‘Four more years (in English). ‘It is extremely satisfying that our efforts over the last four years have been rewarded.’
A jubilant Socialist Party leader Jan Marijnissen said that this was a historic day for his party, which only entered parliament 12 years ago. ‘Holland has chosen a more human and socialist direction.’
Geert Wilders, leader of anti-immigration party PVV, set to take nine seats, promised that his party would make ‘an end to the increasing growth of Islam in the Netherlands’.
VVD finance minister Gerrit Zalm said the poor showing for his party was ‘certainly a blow… very sad.. it’s a bad day for the VVD.’
André Rouvoet, leader of orthodox Christian party ChristenUnie, on target to take seven seats, categorically ruled out an alliance involving the anti-immigration PVV.
Wouter Bos, leader of the Labour party (PvdA) admitted the results were disappointing but added: ‘The country has voted massively against the cold and unfeeling Netherlands of the CDA and VVD.’
Marianne Thieme, leader of animal rights party Partij van de Dieren, a new entrant into parliament: ‘We are the only party that dares to say that a radical change is needed… We must not treat animals as old rubbish.’
Femke Halsema, leader of GroenLinks said ‘the results are confusing’.
A disappointed Marco Pastors, leader of Pim Fortuyn splinter party EénNL: ‘We would not have bothered [with setting up a party] fore one seat.’ In the event, the party got none.
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