Early returns give Dutch PM Rutte big lead over far-right Wilders
The Netherlands' center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte roundly saw off a challenge by anti-Islam, anti-EU Geert Wilders in an election on Wednesday, early returns showed, a huge relief to other EU governments facing a wave of nationalism.
"It appears that the VVD will be the biggest party in the Netherlands for the third time in a row," a beaming Rutte told cheering supporters at a post-election party in The Hague. "Tonight we'll celebrate a little."
Rutte received congratulatory messages from European leaders and spoke with some by telephone.
The result was a relief to mainstream parties across Europe, particularly in France and Germany, where right-wing nationalists hope to make a big impact in elections this year, potentially posing an existential threat to the EU.- Read More, Reuters