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A man poses as a crying Geert Wilders, the firebrand anti-Islam lawmaker, during a small demonstration outside parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).

Fear of Wilders Binds the Disparate Parties in the New Dutch Government

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

The Dutch felt very proud when photographs of Prime Minister Mark Rutte riding his bicycle to a meeting with the king at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague last week turned into a moderately viral international sensation. To the rest of the planet, it might seem disconcerting to see a world leader pedaling to a meeting with a monarch. But in the Netherlands, it’s everyday fare.

It was a quintessentially Dutch image: a powerful man disdaining the visible accoutrements of the mighty in favor of a “normal” way of life. And on this particular occasion, it served to make a point. ...

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