Why are the Dutch elections so important for the future of Europe?
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the right-wing VVD party hopes to be able to stay ahead of the government, which he currently leads with the Social Democrats of the PvdA.
Next to Angela Merkel, Theresa May or François Hollande, the name of Mark Rutte is not so well known.
The prime minister of the Netherlands, the right-wing liberal party VVD, does not usually generate big headlines or cover full-page covers.
However, these days his name is heard more and more, as well as that of other Dutch politicians.
Not only because of the recent diplomatic dispute between the Netherlands and Turkey, but because on Wednesday in the European country parliamentary elections are taking place that are attracting more international attention than ever before.
The Netherlands, France and Germany are holding elections this year that are considered crucial for the European project.
Europe keeps watch
Following the decision of the British to leave the European Union (the so-called Brexit) and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, it was the turn of the general elections in several European countries.
The Netherlands will be followed by France, Germany and possibly Italy.
In a climate of polarization and disenchantment with traditional parties, Holland can give an idea of how far voters will come to express their indignation.
«Everything is possible, there are a lot of people who have not yet decided and the situation is very vulnerable, anything, any incident can change the outcome of the election,» says Kathleen Ferrier, a Dutch ex-parliamentarian from the Democratic Party Christian CDA and specialist in international relations and human rights.
«What was noticed after Trump’s victory in the US was a feeling that if it was possible there-no one had waited a year or a half for Trump’s triumph-why could not Geert Wilders win Holland or Marine Le Pen in France,
«That impression has been changing, it is interesting to see that the fact that everyone believes that there is chaos in the US makes people who are in favor of something new in politics see that change has its very negative sides» , Says Ferrier.
The candidates in the Dutch elections visited the headquarters of the newspaper De Telegraaf in the final stretch of the campaign.