No shock result in Dutch elections. A clear victory against populism. Prime Minister Mark Rutte won, nationalist populist Geert Wilders took pleasure as the second largest party in the parliament of the Netherlands. Jeroen Dijsselbloem and his ‘social-democrat’ Labor party suffered a historic loss, crashed from 38 seats to just 9. Now Dijsselbloem’s chief position at the Eurogroup is at risk. And Spain cheers.
A very disappointing result for my PvdA. But the vast majority of voters rejected the extreme populists. Which gives hope for the future.
— Jeroen Dijsselbloem (@J_Dijsselbloem) March 15, 2017
The Dutch Labor Party of eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem has been punished by voters in parliamentary elections.
The left-leaning party appeared to be hammered by its supporters for its role over the last four years in pushing through a tough austerity package as junior member in a two-party Cabinet with the right-wing VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Labor Party junior Cabinet minister Sharon Dijksma called the defeat, “an enormous slap for us all and I think that all social democrats this evening have a scratch on their soul.”
Dijksma says that Labor for four years, “tried to haul this country in a fair and reasonable way out of the crisis, but the results of that have not been convincingly portrayed to our voters.”
While the outcome of was pretty straightforward, forming a government will be much more complicated.
Since the left-leaning Labor Party of Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem suffered historic losses, the coalition Labor had with Rutte’s VVD party will probably collapse.
The prime minister is likely to look to the right instead for a new coalition partner.
The main exit poll showed Rutte controlling 31 seats, and three parties each winning with 19 — the pro-EU center party D66, the Christian Democrat CDA and the Party for Freedom of anti-Islam nationalist Geert Wilders.
Rutte has been resolute about not wanting to rule with Wilders, so that tightens the market in which he can acquire the necessary 75-seat threshold.
Weeks, if not months of coalition-building talks may be required before a new government is installed.
The question is now: How about the Eurogroup and Dijsselbloem? For the time being and until Mark Rutte forms his new government, Dijsselbloem will remain in his role as Eurogroup head.
Once the new Dutch coalition comes in power, Dijsselbloem may head to a farm and contemplate about what he did wrong. He might also reconsider his relation with German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
The Eurozone finance ministers will have to choose a new head as he/she is usually an active finance minister.
Schaeuble will not be gone by then, therefore he will certainly leave his legacy for the eurozone years to come.
— Christoph Schmidt (@trouwschmidt) March 15, 2017
Luis de Guindos has been serving as economy minister in Rajoy’s centre-right government since 2011.
According to latest information, there seems to be another candidate, Slovakia’s finance minister Peter Kazimir, a hardliner, always against Greece in the crucial eurogroup meetings in 2015.
I don’t need to mention that many Greeks on social media hailed Dijsselbloem’s loss and sent him regards signing as ‘Yanis Varoufakis’.
On Jan 30th 2015, the joint press conference of Eurogroup chief Dijsselbloem and Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis ended bitter in front of the cameras, when Varoufakis openly criticized Greece’s lenders and the Eurgoroup chief whispered in his ear: You just killed the Troika. Vaoufakis replied with a simple: WOW!
Some foreign analyst drew similarities with Greek socialist PASOK that was defeated big after supporting and implementing strict austerity.
Biggest story of the Dutch elections is the Pasokification of the Labour Party. The party of Jeroen Dijsselbleom has just been decimated.
— Jerome Roos (@JeromeRoos) March 15, 2017
However, we have to note here, that core PASOK is still in the Parliament, but the masses of PASOK grabbed the opportunity and flocked to SYRIZA once they realize they would suffer big losses in 2015 elections.
We will have to see where they will flock to once it will be clear that SYRIZA could lose the next elections.
Austerity kills – not only people but also political parties.
PS I am 98% certain, Schaeuble will push Kazimir for the post and leave a legacy and a nightmare for Greece for the next few years years.