While a post-election coalition with Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam PVV party could not be ruled out, the PVV is a left-wing party in terms of the economy, Liberal leader Mark Rutte said at the weekend.
Speaking after Wilders said he was ready to join a coalition with the VVD Liberals and CDA after the June 9 vote, Rutte said: ‘The PVV has a left-wing agenda, just like the Socialists.’
The PVV is opposed to changes to mortgage tax relief, like the VVD, but has said an increase in the state pension age is taboo. The VVD and CDA both back a gradual rise from 65 to 67.
Wilders said in an interview in Saturday’s Telegraaf a right-wing cabinet would be the best to solve the Netherlands’ problems in terms of immigration, integration and public safety.
‘We are ready for a VVD, CDA, PVV cabinet,’ he said.
And he called on Rutte to reject a ‘purple’ cabinet, a combination of the two Liberal parties and Labour.
‘That would be fatal for the Netherlands,’ he said. Labour leader Job Cohen has made tentative overtures to the VVD about a purple coalition, ANP says.
Both the VVD and CDA have so far refused to rule out forming a coalition with any party.
However, CDA leader Jan Peter Balkenende has said it will be ‘very difficult’ to rule with the PVV, which wants a total ban on non-western immigration and includes a tax on Muslim headscarves in its manifesto.
A coalition with the CDA and PVV ‘could be an outcome’, Rutte was reported as saying during a campaign visit to Harderwijk, stressing the VVD did not rule out any democratic party.
‘The most important thing for me is that we get a cabinet which can pull the Netherlands out of the crisis and make it stronger,’ he said.
VVD campaign mastermind Stef Blok refused to speculate on possible coalitions, adding that voters must first have their say. But a new coalition must be prepared to reform the economy, he told Trouw.
According to the latest option polls, both a right-wing coalition and a purple coalition would be a possibility. The VVD is currently the biggest party in the polls, with Labour second, the CDA third and PVV in fourth place.
Which coalition government do you prefer? Take part in our poll
DutchNews.nl has been free for 13 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
Donate via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.