Mark Rutte. Picture: REUTERS/FRANCEOIS LENOIR
Mark Rutte. Picture: REUTERS/FRANCEOIS LENOIR

The Hague — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte sealed a deal to form a government on Tuesday, ending months of negotiations between four parties and marking a rightward shift in the country’s political landscape.

The coalition talks were the longest since the Second World War, overtaking a previous record of 208 days set in 1977, as the parties sought to overcome wide differences.

Issues up for debate ranged from migration — a topic that dominated the national elections in March in which the anti-Islam party of Geert Wilders finished second — to taxes to euthanasia.

"All parties came with some last-minute wishes," Rutte told reporters after a final meeting with negotiators on Tuesday. "But the government pact is now definitely ready."

Leader of the liberal VVD party, Rutte will head his third government since coming to power in 2010.

He will start appointing cabinet members later this week with the new government expected to be installed at the end of October.

Though not including Wilders’ party, the coalition will be distinctly more right wing than Rutte’s most recent government with Labour, with corporate and income tax cuts and a focus on national identity expected to be high on its agenda.

Reuters

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