Former spy chief Dick Schoof sworn in as new Dutch prime minister

  02 July 2024    Read: 784
Former spy chief Dick Schoof sworn in as new Dutch prime minister

Former Dutch intelligence chief Dick Schoof was sworn in as prime minister on Tuesday at the head of a coalition government promising to implement the Netherlands' "strictest ever" asylum and immigration policy, according to DW.

The 67-year-old Independent candidate is succeeding departing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is set to become the next secretary-general of NATO after 14 years in office in The Hague.

Schoof's inauguration comes seven months on from a general election in which far-right populist Geert Wilders' PVV (Freedom Party) emerged as the Netherlands' largest party.

Traditionally, the leader of the largest party would be favorite to become Dutch prime minister. But the anti-Islam and Eurosceptic Wilders, 60, renounced the role to appease coalition partners from the Famers Party (BBB), the liberal-conservative VVD and the new anti-corruption NSC, whose leaders also agreed not to stand for PM.

Instead, they settled on Schoof as a compromise to be sworn in by King Willem-Alexander.

Schoof has insisted that he wants to be "a prime minister for all citizens of the Netherlands" and that he won't allow himself to be "held on a string by Mr. Wilders."

He has nevertheless promised to implement the country's "strictest-ever admission policy for asylum and the most comprehensive package for getting a grip on migration."


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