Dutch Cabinet Minister Calls for Green Agenda to Be Reconsidered After Shock Pro-Farmer Party Victory

A member of the Dutch coalition government has called for it to abandon its controversial anti-farmer green agenda in light of the farmers’ and citizens’ movement’s historic victory in this week’s provincial elections.

Wopke Hoekstra, a senior cabinet member in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government and leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Appeal (The CDU, which is part of the four-party ruling coalition, said on Friday that the government’s global green agenda, in particular attempts to drastically reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers, should be rethought after the party’s surprise victory. BoerBurgerBeweging (Farmers and Citizens Movement) is an upstart in the political party in this week’s provincial elections.

“We can’t move on to today’s arrangement,” the CDA leader said He said of fertilizer policy, though he also said the “how and what” of what comes into place will still need to be determined.

On Wednesday, the BBB party shocked the nation as it dominated the vote in provincial elections, which determine not only the composition of local governments but also that of the Dutch Senate. The pro-farmer party, founded just three years ago, has gone from having no representation in the upper house to having 16 seats, making it the largest single party in the Netherlands.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who has seen all four parties in his ruling coalition drop from 32 seats to 24 in the 75-seat Senate, has appeared less inclined to let the election derail his global agenda of imposing EU-led regulations that would require a 50-percent cut in nitrogen-based fertilizers. cent by 2030, which will threaten the future of thousands of farms in the agricultural pivotal country.

“We understand the yelling in The Hague,” Ruttie said He said of the local election results, adding: “We will not be deaf.”

However, the longest-serving Dutch prime minister refused to say whether this would have any impact on the planned legislation.

The issue could threaten the future of Rutte’s government, with cracks already showing in his coalition. His partners at Hoekstra and the CDA have come out in favor of a change of course, while the other key member of his coalition, the left-wing Democrats 66 (D66), has refused to budge – as they believe if the country does not abide by EU restrictions that prevent the Netherlands from building new homes as punishment and thus suffer economically .

Complicating matters further, the farmers’ and citizens’ movement would become the leading force in Dutch provincial governments, in the very areas where most farms would be affected by the restrictions. The BBB has already indicated that they will refuse to enact restrictions when they are in power.

The controversy over state-imposed cuts to nitrogen fertilizer has also spread to neighboring Belgium, where the Flemish coalition government faces cracks over similar attempts in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders.

Despite growing discontent with the EU’s Natura 2000 scheme, the bloc is not yet willing to back down on its plans, which means other countries across Europe could see similar farmer-led protest movements in the coming years.

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