Geert Wilders’ far-right Islamophobe will lead the next government of the Netherlands. “It’s a dream”, “a historic day if everything is confirmed” declared yesterday mid-afternoon the leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) when he announced that he had reached a provisional agreement with three other political parties – the Liberals of Mark Rutte, a formation of the Christian Democratic orbit and the farmers’ party – to form what will undoubtedly be the most conservative coalition in the country’s history.

The government agreement, summarized in a 25-page document that must be voted on by the leaders of the parliamentary factions of the four parties involved, arrived in added time, in line with the deadline set by the negotiators after almost six months of contacts, four different intermediaries and an attempt to derail the negotiations which was finally saved by Wilders’ decision to resign as prime minister.

His future partners did not want the far-right to be “the face of the Netherlands” and, although it has not yet been decided who will lead the new government, it has been made public that Wilders has offered the position to the former minister Labour’s Ronald Plasterk, a free electron in political terms who mediated unsuccessfully between the parties last year.

Another peculiarity of the agreement, a reflection of the level of risk of the political operation, is that the leaders of the parties of the future coalition will remain in Parliament and will not be part of the government. The plan is to appoint an “extraparliamentary government” – or technocratic – in which the ministerial portfolios will be assigned to figures outside the parties.

The mistrust between the future partners is, in short, total, and it sounds like a bad omen for the stability of the coalition. An important sector of the liberal party (VVD), which remembers the bad experience of depending on Wilders lived in 2012, when he brought down the first Rutte government, is very reluctant to the idea of ​​collaborating with the far right. In the personal sphere, it is with Pieter Omtzigt – the leader of Nou Contracte Social, a new party born of Christian democracy – with whom the founder of the PVV got on the worst.

Wilders, on the other hand, has gotten along without problems with the leader of the BBB, the Moviment Camperol Ciudadà, Caroline van der Plas. The farmers’ party rang the bell in the regional elections of March 2023, but obtained a moderate success in the legislatures of November. While the social democrats urged the progressives without much success to vote useful, the ultra-right practiced it around the figure of Wilders.

The content of the pact, which at the close of this edition had only been ratified by the PVV, has not been made public, but its main – or only – point of consensus is the desire to reduce the number of foreigners in the country, both economic immigrants, such as skilled workers and students. A few days ago a negotiator of this party showed a paper in which it was read that the program would include “the toughest immigration and asylum policy” in the history of the country.

Until Pim Fortuyn burst onto the national political scene 25 years ago with the cry of “The Netherlands is full”, the Dutch were the great champions of multiculturalism in Europe. Fortuyn’s murder was the starting point for the emergence of several anti-immigration ultra-right parties, including Wilders’ PVV, which despite its monotheistic nature and the variable success of its ideological proposal, has turned out to be the most resistant In November it won 37 of the 150 seats in the Dutch Parliament. Europe’s sociological laboratory for decades, this time the Netherlands are not exactly pioneers. The extreme right is already part of the current coalition governments in Italy, Sweden and Finland, and aspires to advance positions in the European elections in June.