Netherlands

Netherlands: Following elections, establishment parties shift to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 18 March 2017

The defeat of Geert Wilders in the Dutch election has not stopped the growth of nationalism and xenophobia; it has amplified it in the establishment parties.

Dutch Prime Minister Rutte wins out against far-right challenger

By Peter Schwarz, 17 March 2017

Wilders’ poorer than expected result does not signal an end to the sharp shift to the right in European politics.

The Dutch elections and the danger of fascism

By Peter Schwarz, 15 March 2017

The fascistic Geert Wilders has set the tone for the entire spectrum of Dutch politics, from the conservative government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the ex-Maoist Socialist Party.

Socialist Party advocates nationalist and xenophobic programme in Dutch elections

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 15 March 2017

The ex-Maoist Socialist Party demands that Dutch workers be given preferential treatment over immigrants and calls for limits on the entry of migrants into the EU.

Ankara whips up Turkish nationalism over Dutch bans on Turkish officials

By Halil Celik, 14 March 2017

The Turkish government is using the Dutch ban on public appearances by Turkish officials in the Netherlands to promote its reactionary constitutional referendum.

Workers, youth raise social issues in Dutch election

By Dietmar Henning and Daniel Woreck, 14 March 2017

A WSWS reporting team visited the Dutch town of Venlo in the run-up to Wednesday’s national election.

Dutch government bans Turkish ministers from speaking in Netherlands

By Alex Lantier, 13 March 2017

The move is part of a nationalist campaign by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is appealing to anti-Muslim sentiment in the run-up to the March 15 elections.

Likely shift to the right in Dutch elections threatens EU

By Dietmar Henning, 9 March 2017

As in the United States, the ruling class in Europe is responding to the capitalist crisis and rising social tensions by abandoning democratic forms of rule and returning to nationalism and war.

Hostility to immigrants dominates major parties in Dutch election

By Dietmar Henning and Martin Kreickenbaum, 27 February 2017

According to recent polls, the liberal-social democratic governing coalition in the Netherlands will be punished for its drastic austerity policies on March 15.

Dutch referendum produces majority against EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

By Johannes Stern, 8 April 2016

Wednesday’s referendum result has deepened the political crisis in Europe and provoked nervous reactions from politicians and the media.

Netherlands to begin bombing Islamic State in Syria

By Josh Varlin, 2 February 2016

Prime Minister Rutte’s announcement of the decision to begin bombing ISIS in Syria marks a dramatic escalation of the Netherlands’ involvement in the US-led campaign.

Netherlands: Crackdown after police kill immigrant worker

By Stefan Steinberg, 7 July 2015

The recent protests in The Hague are a response to the poverty and years of police harassment prevailing in impoverished regions in the Netherlands.

Dutch Labor Party collapses in provincial elections

By Josh Varlin, 10 April 2015

Amid mass abstention, voters dealt a sharp rebuff to the Netherlands’ ruling liberal and social-democratic parties.

Netherlands: Groningen rocked by earthquakes from natural gas extraction

By Josh Varlin, 13 January 2015

Estimates place the potential earthquake magnitude for the province as high as 5.0 on the Richter scale.

Provocative Australian-Dutch push for security forces at MH17 crash site

By Peter Symonds, 26 July 2014

There is nothing benign about what Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described yesterday as “a humanitarian mission”.

Netherlands government unites with opposition on austerity budget

By Dietmar Henning, 23 October 2013

The agreement contains €6 billion in further austerity measures as well as attacks on workers and the unemployed.

Netherlands unemployment at record level

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 4 May 2013

Unemployment in the Netherlands has reached 8.1 percent—the highest level in 30 years

Dutch grand coalition agrees on austerity programme

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 6 November 2012

The new Dutch coalition is based on a harsh austerity programme of €15 billion in cuts.

Grand coalition government formed in the Netherlands

By Dietmar Henning, 15 September 2012

The new government, which will most likely include the Social Democrats, has already announced a sharp attack on workers’ social rights.

Dutch elections: All parties support austerity

By Dietmar Henning, 12 September 2012

In Wednesday's federal election in the Netherlands, all parties favour austerity measures dictated by the European Union and the banks.

Socialist Party leads polls in Dutch elections

By Sven Heymann and Peter Schwarz, 30 August 2012

Polls predict that the (former Maoist) Socialist Party (SP) will win the Dutch parliamentary elections due on September 12.

Netherlands government falls over austerity budget

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2012

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte resigned on Monday after his government failed to get backing for austerity measures agreed with the European Union.

Netherlands budget cuts hit social services

By Dietmar Henning, 12 July 2011

Holland’s right-wing ruling parties are embarking on draconian cuts in social benefits and cultural services, while providing a platform for the anti-immigrant racist, Geert Wilders.

Regional elections in the Netherlands: Geert Wilders’s PVV enters the Senate

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 15 March 2011

Following the regional elections held on 2 March the ultra-right, anti-Islamic party of Geert Wilders’s PVV entered the Dutch Senate for the first time.

New government coalition in the Netherlands

By Dietmar Henning, 9 October 2010

The right-wing populist and racist politician Geert Wilders will play a major role in government policy in the Netherlands.

Geert Wilders—kingmaker in the Dutch political crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 September 2010

As talks on a government coalition collapse, far-right Geert Wilders is emerging as the kingmaker in Dutch politics.

Far-right party emerges as power broker behind new Netherlands government

By Sven Heymann, 12 August 2010

The new Dutch government will be supported by the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) of Gert Wilders.

Right-wing shift in Dutch elections

By Peter Schwarz, 12 June 2010

After Hungary and the UK, the Netherlands is the third significant European Union country where right-wing parties have emerged as election winners in the midst of the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.

Netherlands: Racist Geert Wilders increases his vote in municipal elections

By Dietmar Henning, 8 March 2010

The ruling class is grooming Wilders and his PVV in order to fill the political vacuum that has developed in recent years and enforce violent attacks on the entire working class.

Dutch government collapses over military deployment in Afghanistan

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 February 2010

The collapse of the Dutch government represents a serious blow to the US administration’s military strategy in Afghanistan.

Oil, the Dutch Iraq inquiry on the Iraq war, and the missing letter

By Ann Talbot, 22 January 2010

The Davids Commission, which investigated the role of the Netherlands in the 2003 Iraq war, has declared that the war was illegal.

Dutch inquiry finds Iraq war illegal

By Ann Talbot, 22 January 2010

A Dutch commission of inquiry has concluded that the US-led 2003 Iraq war was illegal under international law.

Oil, the Dutch Iraq inquiry on the Iraq war, and the missing letter

By Ann Talbot, 21 January 2010

The Davids Commission, which investigated the role of the Netherlands in the 2003 Iraq war, has declared that the war was illegal.

UK government deports Dutch politician

By Niall Green, 17 February 2009

The UK government has banned right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders from Britain. Wilders is a racist provocateur who is seeking to whip up anti-Muslim chauvinism. Wilders’s deportation, however, is an attack on, not a defence of, democratic rights.

Benelux countries intervene to bail out Fortis

The rise and fall of Fortis

By Stephan Steinberg, 1 October 2008

Stock markets across Europe tumbled on Monday following the news that leading banks across the continent were facing collapse.

Netherlands: Geert Wilders releases his anti-Islamic film

By Jordan Shilton, 3 April 2008

The decision of right-wing Dutch MP Geert Wilders to screen a short film claiming that the Koran is a “fascist” book is yet another effort to stir up anti-Islamic sentiment and promote a climate of fear. It follows the reprinting of the caricature of the Prophet Mohammed in 17 newspapers in Denmark on February 13.

Netherlands: the grand coalition and the role of the Socialist Party

By Jörg Victor, 8 February 2007

More than two months after the parliamentary elections, Dutch parties have finally agreed on a new government in the Netherlands. Those parties that fared worst in the election have joined together to form a grand coalition—an alliance of the Christian Democrats (CDA) of Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, the social democratic Labour Party (PvdA) and the religious fundamentalists of the Christian Union (CU). Discussions are currently underway on a new government programme.

Sharp reversal for Social Democrats in Dutch elections

By Dietmar Henning and Jörg Victor, 7 December 2006

Two developments dominated the Dutch parliamentary elections held on November 22. First, the outgoing conservative government was unable to profit from its exploitation of racism in the election campaign. Instead, according to polls, social and economic issues were the central questions in the election. Second, the social democrats in the Netherlands were unable to translate widespread social discontent into electoral support.

Amid a furore over immigration policy, Dutch government resigns

By Jörg Victor, 5 July 2006

On June 30, Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende submitted his resignation after one of his coalition partners, the Democrats’66 (D66), withdrew from his government.

Netherlands: Government suffers heavy losses in local election

By Dietmar Henning, 25 March 2006

The federal government of prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende was punished heavily in local elections held in the Netherlands on March 7. Following the failure to win a majority in the referendum on the European Constitution last summer, the local election result is the second defeat for the coalition government of the Christian Democrats (CDA), the right-wing liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the liberal D66 party. Behind the defeat is the widespread opposition to the government’s social and immigration policies.

Fire kills at least 11 at Amsterdam airport detention centre

By Chris Marsden, 28 October 2005

At least 11 people have died and 15 are in hospital, as a result of a three-hour blaze in a detention centre at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport in the early hours of Thursday, October 27. Police have said the death toll could rise.

Netherlands: referendum revealed broad opposition to EU constitution

By Jörg Victor and Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 June 2005

On June 1, three days after the failure of the referendum in France, voters in the Netherlands likewise rejected the European Union constitution. The “no” vote was even more pronounced than in France. Some 61.6 percent of Dutch voters voted “no” to the constitution, with turnout unexpectedly high at 63 percent. In comparison, voter turnout for the last European elections was just 39 percent.

The Netherlands: decisive “no” vote on European constitution

By Chris Marsden, 2 June 2005

Voters in the Netherlands have overwhelmingly rejected the proposed European Union constitution. Initial projections based on more than half the ballots cast in the June 1 referendum indicate that at least 62 percent voted against the treaty, with turnout also as high as 62 to 63 percent of the electorate.

Dutch government facing likely defeat in upcoming referendum

By Jörg Victor, 27 May 2005

On June 1, just three days after the planned referendum in France, the Netherlands is holding its own national referendum on the new European Union (EU) constitution. Polls indicate that the government of Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende is facing a serious defeat. A recent opinion poll showed the majority of the population is against the draft constitution, opposing the position of all major political parties in the Dutch parliament.

The Netherlands: xenophobic campaign follows Theo van Gogh murder

By Jörg Victor, 23 November 2004

Social tensions have mounted in the Netherlands following the murder of the film director and journalist Theo van Gogh. Politicians, the media and some sections of the intelligentsia are responsible for encouraging xenophobia.

Theo van Gogh murdered on the streets of Amsterdam

By Jörg Victor, 10 November 2004

Theo van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam on Tuesday, November 2. The 47-year-old film director and publicist was shot and stabbed several times by his assassin on the streets of the Dutch capital. Van Gogh had made no secret of his sympathy for the policies and restrictive immigration policies of the party led by the right-wing populist Pim Fortuyn, who was himself murdered in May 2002.

Dutch government uses terrorist threat to justify greater police powers

By Paul Bond, 27 September 2004

The Dutch government of Jan Peter Balkenende is seeking to extend further the powers of the police and state. To this end it has now released details of five arrests made earlier in the summer. Those arrested are suspected of plotting bomb attacks on parliament, Schipol Airport, the Borssele nuclear plant and the Leidschendam headquarters of the security services (AIVD).

Dutch parliament votes to deport asylum seekers

By Paul Bond, 21 February 2004

The Dutch parliament voted February 17 to expel some 26,000 asylum seekers from the Netherlands over the next three years, marking an escalation in the brutalisation of immigrants across Europe. The bill—passed by 83 to 57 votes in the lower house—has yet to be ratified by parliament’s upper house, but no obstacles are expected. Indeed, the centre-right coalition government of Jan Pieter specifically rejected a number of opposition amendments designed to slightly soften the legislation.

Netherlands: Arming the state in response to growing poverty and unemployment

By Jörg Victor, 19 February 2004

The Dutch coalition government consisting of the CDA (Christian-Democratic-Appeal), VVD (the liberal Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy) and D66 (Democrats ’66) is reacting to the country’s economic crisis and growing poverty by limiting civil rights and strengthening the state apparatus. In particular, surveillance and spying on the population are to be expanded.