New Prime Minister vows to stop immigration as government’s top goal

In his first speech to parliament on Wednesday, the Netherlands’ new Prime Minister, Dick Shoaf, vowed to work hard to achieve his government’s main goal of reducing immigration.

In his speech, Shoaf said one of the government’s main goals was to reduce immigration, adding: “The biggest concern is asylum and immigration. Whichever way you look at it, that’s the heart of the issue.”

“Migration puts huge pressure on social services and social cohesion. There are high numbers of asylum and migration applications, and so there is a lot of pressure on society,” Skov said.

The official agreement to form the new government, titled “Hope, Courage and Pride,” aims to impose tougher measures on asylum seekers, end refugee family reunification and reduce the number of international students studying in the country.

Schaff succeeded his predecessor Mark Rutte on Tuesday, but it is notable that he is not a member of any of the four parties that make up the coalition government.

The four parties in the coalition government are Wilders’ Party for Freedom, Rutte’s centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the populist Civic and Farmers Movement and the centrist New Social Contract party.

The 67-year-old former head of the Dutch intelligence and counter-terrorism service was a surprising choice for prime minister.

Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration party won the most seats in last year’s election and it took 223 days for a four-party coalition government to be formed.

Opposition from other coalition partners has prevented the controversial Wilders from becoming prime minister.

Opposition politicians missed no opportunity to criticize the new government.

“It is the first time that a party with far-right ideology has seats in government,” Frans Timmermans, leader of the coalition of Social Democrats and Greens, said in parliament shortly after Skov’s remarks.

He described Wilders’ party’s policies as “racist” and announced he would table a motion of no confidence against two government lawmakers who subscribe to views on “demographic restructuring” and conspiracy theories to reduce the influence of white people.

Wilders has denied accusations that his party members are racist, telling parliament that “there is no (Freedom Party) member in the House of Commons or in cabinet who has any connection to racist Nazi theory.”

Discussions are expected to continue until Thursday.


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