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Mark Rutte

Viral picture: Netherlands prime minister rides bicycle to meet the King

AMSTERDAM: A photo of a cycling Netherlands Prime Minister to the Royal Palace has gone viral on the Internet - and for the good reasons. Mark Rutte, who has led Netherlands since 2010, rode on his bicycle to the palace of the King of Netherlands for a meeting on Saturday. A photo showed him locking his bicycle upon arrival at the palace with palace guards manning the entrance already adorned with red carpet. Netherlands, a country of over 17 million, is said to have more bicycles than persons. Bicycle, which…

European relief as Dutch snub ‘siren song’ of far-right

THE HAGUE: European leaders heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday after the Dutch voted Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberal party back into power ahead of the far-right, with all eyes turning to polls later this year in France and Germany. "The Dutch election carries the hope of success, not just in keeping Europe together but in... bringing together once again all of our citizens," said German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. After the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's victory in the US, Wednesday's election was seen as a…

High turnout as Dutch vote in Europe’s first far-right test

THE HAGUE: Millions of Dutch flocked to the polls Wednesday in a test of the "patriotic revolution" promised by far-right Geert Wilders, with Europe closely watching the outcome amid signs his support may be waning. Following last year's shock Brexit referendum, and Donald Trump's victory in the US, the Dutch vote is seen as a gauge of populism on the continent ahead of key elections in France and Germany this year. The Dutch election has also been gatecrashed by an explosive row with Turkey. Turkish President Recep…

Erdogan warns Dutch of new retaliation, makes Srebrenica jibe

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned that the Netherlands would face more retaliation from Ankara in a spiralling diplomatic crisis, as he made a new jibe against the country over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. In an uncompromising speech, Erdogan said a 'yes' vote in an April 16 referendum on expanding his powers would be the best response to Turkey's "enemies" in a dispute that risks wrecking the entire Ankara-Brussels relationship. He also said the Dutch character had been "broken" after…

Netherlands bars Turkish ministers as rally dispute escalates

ANKARA/ROTTERDAM: The Netherlands barred Turkish ministers from speaking in Rotterdam on Saturday in a row over Ankara's political campaigning among Turkish émigrés, leading President Tayyip Erdogan to brand its fellow NATO member a "Nazi remnant". The dispute escalated into a major diplomatic incident in the evening, as Turkey's family minister was prevented by police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam. Hundreds of protesters waving Turkish flags gathered outside, demanding to see the minister. Dutch…