Wilders loses ground as Rutte wins again in the Dutch election

Despite a childcare benefits scandal that led to the resignation of the government en masse, much-criticised delays in its vaccination programme and national riots over a coronavirus curfew, the status quo will remain largely intact after a general election in the Netherlands. With nearly nine in ten votes counted, it looks almost certain that ‘caretaker’ prime minister Mark Rutte will be building a new coalition government and leading the country for a fourth time. His People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) is expected to win another two seats, taking his total to 35 out of the 150 places in the lower house. Other big winners of the election are the

Inside the Dutch anti-lockdown riots

Images of Dutch rioters throwing stones and fireworks at police, looting shops and facing water cannon have been published all around the world. This is not the typical image of a nation that likes to think of itself as nuchter and normaal — sober and sensible — in contrast to other parts of Europe, it sees as impulsive or, even worse, undemocratic.  But in the last four nights, after the Netherlands imposed a 9 p.m. curfew to combat the spread of coronavirus, elements of the country appear to have gone entirely off-script. To the condemnation of national politicians, horrified businesses and huge numbers of normal people who have been in lockdown since