Dutch PM and populist clash on Greece

19th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and populist Freedom Party PVV leader Geert Wilders clashed in parliament today over more financial aid for Greece today. Mr Wilders is against a further bailout, saying that Greece should quit the euro.

The minority coalition of the conservative VVD and Christian Democrats CDA relies on support on a majority of issues from the PVV. However, the Greek-euro crisis has caused a major divide between the PVV and the coalition parties.

The PVV and the opposition Socialist Party are against more financial aid for Greece. However, the government’s position of not ruling out more aid has the support of Labour, the D66 democrats and Green Left, all opposition parties.

Electioneering During today’s debate on the issue, Mr Rutte accused Mr Wilders of lack of political leadership and denounced his stand against further aid for Greece as electioneering.

Mr Wilders in turn said the prime minister was “frittering away the interests of Dutch citizens with loans to Greece”. He said the money would never be paid back. Opposition parties challenged Mr Wilders to table a motion of no-confidence in the government, but he declined.

Mr Rutte claimed not to be impressed by Mr Wilders’ rhetoric. He taunted that “the PVV leader’s gale-force words” had become a well-known phenomenon, saying that they “didn’t shock people anymore”.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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