Netherlands. According to
countryaah, the two-and-a-half-year-old bourgeois
minority government resigned in April, after Geert Wilders
and his right-wing populist Freedom Party (PVV) withdrew
their support. The reason was that PVV did not want to
support budget cuts of EUR 16 billion by 2017, which were
required for the Netherlands to live up to the EU's limited
New elections were announced in September. The election
campaign focused on the economic crisis in the EU. The
results showed unexpectedly strong support for EU-friendly
parties: the right-wing Liberal People's Party for Freedom
and Democracy (VVD), which was the largest in the outgoing
government, further strengthened its position and the Social
Democratic Labor Party (PvdA) also increased and remained
second largest in Parliament.
For the parties on the outer edges, things went worse.
The EU-critical and pre-successful Socialist Party (SP)
received unchanged mandates, while the xenophobic PVV lost a
third of its electoral support and of its seats in
Parliament. The VVD's former coalition partner, Christian
Democratic Call (CDA), also lost support.
The election results led the Netherlands to a
block-crossed majority government with liberals and social
democrats in early November. The CEO's Mark Rutte returned
as prime minister. The new government had a stronger mandate
to pursue a strict austerity policy with hopes of thus
steering the country out of the financial crisis. The
challenges were great; At about the same time as the
government took office, reports that the Dutch economy had
shrunk by 1.1% in the third quarter. This was the biggest
decline among euro area countries.
In April, a court approved the government's plan to ban
the sale of marijuana to foreign tourists. Stores in the
border areas were thus obliged to register their customers
in order to prevent so-called drug tourism.