Dutch elections to test EU popularity amid euro crisis

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After an election campaign dominated by the euro zone crisis, the Netherlands will go to the polls on Wednesday in what could be a decisive day for Europe.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte is currently leading the polls with 35 seats in the 150-seat parliament. His center-right, pro-austerity VVD party is expected to form a coalition government.

However, the outcome of the election is still uncertain as many voters remain undecided.

‘The day after tomorrow is election day in the Netherlands, quite important for Europe. So it is of course important for political parties and so on. It’s quite important for Europe, will there be a government afterwards, European oriented or is it “pull out the plug and we are living in out island”, Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said at a Lisbon Council event.

Dutch citizens are getting increasingly frustrated over recent austerity cuts imposed by Brussels. They are also becoming weary of continuous demands for financial aid to bailout debt-ridden countries.

Rutte’s government collapsed in April when his ally, far-right PVV’s leader Geert Wilders refused to support further austerity measures. While Wilders is unlikely to make it into government, some experts believe that his anti- immigration and anti-Europe views have forced mainstream parties to become more Euro skeptic.

Only recently, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised interview that Greece should not get any more money from Dutch taxpayers.

Europe is watching closely.

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