Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberal Party emerged triumphant from the Netherlands’ election on Wednesday, defeating far-right euroskeptic voices, but he may be faced with the necessity of forming a coalition with the Labour Party, which finished only two seats behind his own.
Reuters reported Thursday that the two parties have drastically different notions of how to run the country, with Rutte’s government having taken a hard line on austerity and Labour’s Diederik Samsom championing growth through fiscal stimulus and more leniency toward Greece.
Rutte is also likely to lose one of his key supporters, Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager of the Christian Democrats. That party plunged to fifth place in the elections, its worst showing ever.
With the Socialists finishing in third place a considerable distance behind Labour and Geert Wilders’ Populist party, which advocated a departure from the eurozone and the European Union (EU), taking fourth, the election’s decisive outcome was good news for the euro; a battle from a formerly solidly entrenched country in the region would have injected additional turmoil into an already tough situation.