First came the sighs of relief — and now come hard questions. Has the march of far-right populism in Europe been halted? Or is it still a force to be reckoned with?
Congratulations poured in Thursday from leaders across Europe after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right party garnered the largest share of parliamentary seats, blunting a challenge from firebrand Geert Wilders, who’s been called the Netherlands’ Donald Trump.
But Wilders, a stridently anti-immigrant, anti-European Union figure with a trademark shock of bleached-blond hair, still drew substantial support in Wednesday’s vote, with his party scoring the second-largest bloc of parliamentary seats.