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

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Dutch King Willem-Alexander swore in the new ministers and state secretaries at the royal Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague on Tuesday.

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Former spy chief Dick Schoof was sworn in as the new Dutch prime minister on Tuesday, leading a broad right-wing coalition cabinet promising to implement the country’s “strictest-ever” immigration policy.

The 67-year-old independent has taken over from the departing PM Mark Rutte, who is set to become the next secretary-general of NATO later this year after 14 years of holding office in The Hague.

The passing of the baton comes after more than seven months of protracted negotiations following far-right leader Geert Wilders’ electoral victory last November. Wilders had to give up on his ambition to become prime minister to keep strained coalition talks on track.

His government partners considered his anti-Islam and Eurosceptic statements too extreme to lead the nation.

Instead of having their leaders stand for prime minister, the four coalition partners — Wilders’ PVV (Freedom Party), the Famers Party (BBB), the liberal-conservative VVD, and the new anti-corruption party NSC — agreed to compromise on Schoof, who was previously running the Dutch Secret Service.

Schoof has vowed to implement “decisively” the coalition’s plans for the “strictest-ever admission policy for asylum and the most comprehensive package for getting a grip on migration.”

Wilders’ far-right party secured five out of 15 ministerial posts in the new government, including trade and migration.



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