DUTCH RIGHT-WING GOVERNMENT INSTALLED AS WILDERS’ SHADOW LOOMS LARGE

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DUTCH RIGHT-WING GOVERNMENT INSTALLED AS WILDERS’ SHADOW LOOMS LARGE Anti-Islam Party takes the reigns in the Netherlands

Dutch anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders saw ministers from his party sworn in for the first time, as the Netherlands’ new right-wing government was installed almost a year after the previous administration resigned.

Right-wing leader Wilders, the clear winner of last year’s general election, will not be part of the government himself, but his shadow will loom large as he continues to lead his Freedom Party from parliament.

Wilders, who was convicted for discrimination after he insulted Moroccans at a campaign rally in 2014, managed to strike a coalition deal with three other conservative parties in May after he gave up his bid to become prime minister.

Instead, the cabinet will be led by the independent and unelected Dick Schoof, a career bureaucrat who has led the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD and was the senior official at the Ministry of Justice.

Schoof was put forward to alleviate concerns over Wilders’ anti-Islam rhetoric among his main coalition partners, outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD and the centrist NSC.

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