MOSCOW, November 25, Viktor Zhdanov. Early parliamentary elections in the Netherlands shocked Europe – the far-right Freedom Party won. The future of the country in the EU and support for Ukraine are at stake. In Kyiv they are preparing for the worst. About the possible consequences – in the material.
Unexpected victory Geert Wilders' party won 37 of 150 seats in the House of Representatives (in 2021 there were only 17). This gives the right to form a coalition government. “The voter has had his say. We will do everything to keep the Dutch people at the center,” said the winner.
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders votes in The Hague, Netherlands
Probable coalition partners – “New Social Contract”. Mark Rutte's People's Party for Freedom and Democracy has ruled out cooperation for now.
Wilders proposes leaving the EU and returning the guilder. Considered a Putin sympathizer. Opponent of Kyiv. “The Dutch do not want Ukraine to join NATO,” he claims. Previously he called for Turkey to be excluded from the alliance.
He has always come out with a tough anti-migrant agenda, but recently he has softened his statements about refugees from Muslim countries. Economic problems come to the fore. The party promised voters a reduction in the salaries of ministers, deputies – local and the European Parliament – by 20 percent, as well as taxes for the royal family and a reduction in their maintenance by the same 20 percent, a reduction in VAT and the retirement age, and an expansion of benefits for pensioners.
European shock Politico notes that even if Wilders does not achieve an exit from the EU, the new government will be “a nightmare for Brussels.” The previous common European policy – from climate protection measures to the armament of Ukraine – is under threat, the publication warns. The Financial Times foresee big upheavals for the West. The restoration of border control at the state border, the expulsion of illegal migrants, the introduction of work permits for visitors from other European countries will fundamentally change the DNA of the country, The Guardian is confident.
Demonstration against the supply of weapons by Western countries to Ukraine in Amsterdam
As Bloomberg points out, the possibility of Ukraine’s victory is now in doubt. Wilders is outraged by Mark Rutte's government's obsession with Kyiv's security. He considers it more important to take care of law and order in his own country. In May, he pointedly refused to participate in a parliamentary meeting with Zelensky.
Wilders is in favor of developing relations with Russia. He wants to offer “a counterbalance to the hysterical Russophobia that reigns everywhere,” since Moscow and Amsterdam have common interests. He advocates the lifting of sanctions.
Leader of the far-right Freedom Party Geert Wilders
In addition, he is convinced: Europe lacks leaders like the Russian president. “Vladimir Putin is a leader, no matter what you think of him,” he emphasized. Five years ago I visited Moscow and met with State Duma deputies. He published the Russian-Dutch friendship badge on Twitter and noted that he wears it “with pride.”
Paying for mistakesEurosceptics rushed to congratulate him. One of the first was Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who called the victory of the Freedom Party a wind of change. The head of the French right, Marine Le Pen, noted the “increasing desire to protect national identity.” Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Chairman of the League Matteo Salvini is confident: from now on, “a new Europe is possible.” Alternative for Germany co-founder Alice Weidel declared a “great success.”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Dutch political scientist Geert Hahn warned in an interview with Kyiv media: Wilders will create problems for you. Together with Orban and Robert Fico, who recently came to power in Slovakia, he will be able to influence EU decisions. The era when the Netherlands was an unconditional ally is over, the Ukrainian media lament.
“Elections in any country are determined by the internal situation, but one cannot help but notice: in recent years, the right has been successful,” Nikolai Topornin, associate professor of the Department of European Law at MGIMO of the Russian Foreign Ministry, notes in a conversation with Nikolai Topornin. “They take advantage of the fact that society is dissatisfied with migration policy, the rise in crime, extremism, terrorist attacks. And the economy: coronavirus, crises, conflict with Russia have undermined stability.”
However, the case of the Netherlands is specific. “Fico in Slovakia is an experienced politician, not a populist. With him there will be no breakdown of the system. He can become something like Orban. Wilders' victory is a different story, he is a different figure. His rhetoric is more radical. If the Freedom Party achieves a referendum, then two thirds the population will say that they don’t want to go anywhere because they value the achievements of the EU. However, the trend is obvious. Europe made serious mistakes and faced the consequences,” the expert emphasizes.
Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico
Deputy Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics Dmitry Suslov believes that Wilders’ success indicates a long-term trend towards weakening Western support for Ukraine.
“Those who are against increasing and maintaining assistance to Kiev are growing stronger. In Europe, they are tired, they are demanding that money be redirected to domestic needs. Of course, a lot depends on what kind of government will be formed. But even if Wilders does not get there, funding the Kiev regime will still gradually decrease.”
Support for Ukraine in the Netherlands will now be put on pause, as in Slovakia, when Fico won. And the pro-Ukrainian forces have already realized that voters like them less and less. And they will draw the appropriate conclusions.