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BACKGROUND European leaders' mixed reactions to unclear Dutch election results

Europe
16.03.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - The Dutch election has left a difficult arithmetic game for Mark Rutte, whose Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) will likely be tasked with pulling together a coalition of several parties with very different motivations.

At the heart of his seemingly difficult task is his refusal to form a coalition with Geert Wilders‘ far-right anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV), despite both parties being on the conservative side of the political spectrum.

With with nearly all votes counted it looks like Wilders‘ party received an expected 20 seats in parliament, second only to the VVD‘s 33 seats, while 11 other parties are likely to be represented in the legislative body.

Reactions were mixed around the continent about what the fragmented result really means:

"A vote for Europe, a vote against extremists."

- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

"There is not any difference between the Social Democrats and the fascist [Geert] Wilders. They all have the same mentality."

- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

"No #Nexit. The anti-EU right has lost the elections in the Netherlands."

- Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni

"The losers of the election are clearly the establishment government parties led by Premier Rutte."

- Austrian far-right Freedom Party secretary general Harald Vilimsky

"Higher turnout, and a clear victory in the Netherlands for what we might call the decent centre. Encouraging for all."

- former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt.

"The values of openness, respect for others and faith in the future of Europe are the only real response to the nationalist impulses and isolationism that are shaking the world."

- French President Francois Hollande

"Good."

-Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

 

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