The Netherlands: coalition agrees on cabinet

In the Netherlands, the new four-party coalition led by Prime Minister Dick Schoof has presented its cabinet after months of wrangling. The main bones of contention were candidates from Geert Wilders' right-wing populist PVV, including Marjolein Faber, the designated migration minister, who is known for her far-right rhetoric. Can this government be successful?

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NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Lacking checks and balances

NRC voices concern about the nomination of several far-right candidates:

“This is a strange decision in the case of these four parties, which have no chemistry or trust in each other. Of all governments this one in particular needs checks and balances which allow parties to prevent a certain issue from becoming the exclusive terrain of a single party. Particularly now that the far-right PVV is set to govern, together with two parties that have no leadership experience, this is urgently needed. The Schoof government appears to be a cabinet of simple substitutions. You get this, I'll take that. This is a risky experiment, especially at a time like this.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Wilders cannot and doesn't want to govern

For De Volkskrant columnist Sheila Sitalsing, Wilders' approach to coalition building shows one thing clearly:

“We already suspected it, but now we know it for sure: Geert Wilders wants nothing and can do nothing. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1998, with only a brief interruption, and in all these years he never made a single attempt to build up a basic reservoir of competent people who can express themselves in a more or less civilised manner, who can achieve something in terms of improving the country's leadership or who can be sent to Brussels without a sense of shame. ... He acts alone. ... He doesn't even want to govern. At least not seriously.”