2012-09-13 09:35:40

Party of Dutch Prime Minister claims election victory

(Vatican Radio)-- The conservative-liberal party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte has claimed victory in Wednesday parliamentary elections in the Netherlands. Official results also suggested pro-European parties would dominate a government, dispelling concerns that radical eurosceptics would gain in the core euro zone country and push to quit the European Union.
"welcome our number one" shouted a man on the tunes of a pop song.
The enthusiastic party faithful crowded a hall in Scheveningen near the North Sea beach to listen to the victory speech of 45-year-old Prime Minister Rutte.
He appeared overjoyed that his People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) won 41 of the 150 seats Dutch
parliament, which Rutte described as a historic results.
"This is a special evening for us. Our party, which next year exists 65 years, has the best results in its history," he said amid shouts of approval.
Yet, commentators have warned that Rutte's pro-business VVD party will have to do business with its main rival, the center-left Labor Party (PvdA).
It became the second largest political force with about 39 seats.
PvdA leader Diederik Samson told his supporters in Amsterdam that the election result are about change. "It has become clear that it is time for a new direction," said Samson, a former Greenpeace activist-turned-politician who only recently began publicly wearing ties.
"The right-wing policies of the last two years can not continue. We want to make the Netherlands stronger and get it out of the crisis in a more social way."
Analysts predict difficult coalition talks between the VVD and Labor party.
The election was seen by voters as a stark rejection of the most radical critic of the EU, anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders, whose Freedom Party (PVV) was forecast to lose eight seats, dropping to 16.
Wednesday's early elections were needed after he withdrew his PVV's crucial support for Rutte's minority government, following weeks of talks about austerity measures.
The ballot was also closely monitored by the EU as the Netherlands is a founding member and the victory of meanstream political parties are viewed as crucial for tackling the eurozone crisis.
Dutch European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said she was pleased with Wednesday's victory of her VVD party. "Fantastic, this is a blessing for the Netherlands and Europe. We can now form a cabinet that can seriously participate in talks in Brussels and Europe because no anti-European will have power," she said. Listen to the report by Stefan Bos RealAudioMP3

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