Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday he was looking forward to continuing the good relationship between the Netherlands and the US following Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential race.
‘As allies and partners, the Netherlands and the US work closely together to create a safer and more prosperous world,’ the prime minister said.
‘The Netherlands and the US have a long history together. I assume the new American government will continue to work with the Netherlands and the rest of the world on the basis of shared values and principles, in line with the strong American tradition.’
There was more scepticism from foreign minister Bert Koenders who said in a short statement that Trump will be judged by by his deeds.’ ‘The American people have spoken,’ Koenders said, without congratulating Trump on his win.
‘During the campaign, Trump made statements which completely contradict how we would like to see our society and world order – on Nato, the relationship with Russia and Europe and on different population groups,’ Koenders said.
He referred to the importance of the Dutch relationship with the US, which generates some 600,000 jobs in the Netherlands. ‘We need each other in today’s world,’ he said. ‘We are facing global challenges such as climate change and counter-terrorism and we have to work together to tackle the crises in the ring of instability around Europe.’
Dutch MP and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders was quick to welcome the news. ‘A historic victory! A revolution! We too will give our country back to the Dutch!,’ Wilders said on Twitter.
Other MPs said they were worried about the uncertainty which Trump’s election had created. His victory is a ‘wake-up call for all western politicians’ said VVD foreign policy spokesman Han ten Broeke, at an election breakfast in Scheveningen.
Trump’s position on Nato means ‘Europe will have to stand more on its own two feet,’ he is quoted as saying in the Financieele Dagblad. His approach to free trade will also have an impact on Europe, Ten Broeke said.
Christian Democrat Raymond Knops said: ‘There have never been so many doubts following the election of an American president.’ His election will have an impact on world trade, climate change and international security and ‘Europe will have to work more closely together,’ Knops concluded.
MEPs are also concerned about what Trump’s victory will mean for Europe. ‘We’ll have to learn to live with him,’ said VVD MEP Hans van Baalen. ‘There’s a good chance that he’ll have to tone it down. Congress will make sure he doesn’t do anything too drastic.’
Van Baalen said he does not think Trump is fit to be the leader of the most powerful democracy on earth. ‘He isn’t qualified, but it might not be as bad as expected. Let’s just hope the US doesn’t become an isolationist country, it’s too important for that,’ Van Baalen said.
Labour MEP Kati Piri calld Trump’s victory ‘the second major blow to the EU in a year.’ The Brexit was the first, and now the EU will have to deal with Trump as well, she said.
‘A lot will depend on if he actually does the things he said,’ according to Marietje Shaakje of the Liberal democratic party D66. ‘I hope congress can keep him in check.’
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