Rutte denies rift with Wilders on Greece, silent on senate

Prime minister Mark Rutte on Friday denied there is a rift between the VVD liberals and alliance partner PVV following Thursday’s clashes in parliament.

‘I am not shocked by the tone,’ Rutte said following the weekly cabinet meeting. ‘I am a parliamentary politician and that means you have to make positions very clear during debates.’
Pvv leader Geert Wilders’ statement that the issue of Greece could cause problems for the coalition was ‘one of his empty phrases’, Rutte said.
Wilders says Greece should leave the euro and that the Netherlands should refuse to help a second bail-out.
‘Wilders is playing with fire, playing with savers’ money, with pensions and with industry. That is irresponsible,’ Rutte is quoted as saying during the debate. Wilders described Greece as ‘corrupt’.
The prime minister refused to comment on Monday’s provincial vote on the make up of the upper house of parliament or senate. It is still unclear if the coalition will manage to scrape a majority of the 75 seats.
If the alliance fails to win a majority, it could make pledges to crack down on immigration impossible, commentators say. The PVV agreed to support the minority government in return for a tougher approach to non-western immigration and integration issues.
Earlier stories
We have no choice but to help Greece, says PM
Liberal MP and Wilders clash over Greece
Wilders talks nonsense on Greek economy says central bank chief

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