Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Europe > Netherlands


Yearbook 2010

Netherlands. The three-year-old coalition government burst in February because of disagreements over the military operation in Afghanistan. NATO wanted to keep close to 2,000 Dutch soldiers. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democratic Party CDA advocated extended mandate for the troops, but the Social Democratic Labor Party bluntly refused. When no compromise could be reached, the Labor Party left the government. The CDA and the small party Christian Union, CU, remained in a minority government until its new elections were held in June.

2010 Netherlands

According to COUNTRYAAH, the election result changed the political landscape significantly. The Christian Democrats lost almost half of their seats and came in fourth place, a record-breaking result that prompted Party leader Balkenende to resign immediately. The right-wing Liberal VVD was by far the largest, with just over 20 per cent of the votes against just under 20 per cent for the Labor Party. The biggest change was the right-wing populist and Islamist anti-Freedom Party, PVV. The party nearly tripled its mandate and became the third largest party. After the election, Deputy Leader Mark Rutte was commissioned to try to form a government.

In August, the last soldiers left Afghanistan, after four years of participation. The Netherlands became the first of the NATO countries to withdraw from the US-led operation.

The government negotiations ended in October, four months after the election, with the formation of the first minority government since the Second World War. The VVD was part of a coalition with the CDA, supported by the Parliament by the PVV. In exchange for its support, PVV received demands for, among other things, more police and a ban on Muslim-wide veil, so-called burka. Among the Christian Democrats, the concern was great about being part of a government supported by the xenophobic PVV. Two CDA members in Parliament hesitated long before they said yes. Together, the three parties had only 76 of the 150 House seats. The government was criticized for male dominance; only 4 out of 20 ministers were women. Mark Rutte became new prime minister.

About the same time as PVV leader Geert Wilders became king, the first negotiations began in a long-planned trial against him. Wilders was charged with hate and discrimination against mainly Muslims through a wide range of public statements. Prosecutors pleaded for a restraining sentence. They felt that his statements were directed at Islam, rather than Muslims, and thus constituted legal religious criticism.

Other Countries in Europe

Countries Please Copyright 2010 - 2020 All Rights Reserved