(Brussels, Thursday, 16th March 2017) – The European Jewish Congress expressed its congratulations to the Dutch people for rejecting populism and extremism after Dutch Prime Minister Marc Rutte’s Conservative Liberal VVD party topped the poll in the national elections, pushing back a potential threat from the far-right populist Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders.
“Prime Minister Rutte expressed before the elections that a populist ‘domino effect’ was taking place across the globe,” EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said. “However, we hope that this electoral victory will begin the reverse, a ‘domino effect’ of mainstream parties pushing back against extremism and populism.”
“With the French and German elections taking place in the coming months, hopefully this result will be an encouraging sign to the mainstream parties in their election campaigns against populists and extremists.” Dr. Kantor continued. “
“We look forward to working with the new Dutch government in maintaining and strengthening European values and an open and tolerant society.”
Early results in the Netherlands indicate the Liberals will become the largest party in Wednesday’s parliamentary election, while populist Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom will come in third. Rutte’s party was on track to win 32 seats in the lower house of parliament, while Wilders’ party was projected to win 19 seats.
The European Jewish Congress is the democratically-elected representative organisation of European Jewry.