The leaders of the most prominent parties in the Netherlands faced off in a televised debate two days before the elections for the House of Representatives. Despite some civil discussions, it became clear once again that there are significant differences between right and left on issues such as migration, climate change, and social issues.
The six party leaders – Dylan Yesilgoz (VVD), Frans Timmermans (GL-PvdA), Geert Wilders (PVV), Pieter Omtzigt (NSC), Rob Jetten (D66) and Caroline van der Plas (BBB) – debated on topics like migration, climate change, and social issues in front of a live audience. While their positions were more civil than those expressed during last week’s debate on SBS6, intense discussions still took place, particularly during the climate and migration debates.
In particular, Geert Wilders (PVV) strongly opposed arguments from the left regarding climate change. He argued that Timmermans and Jeten wanted to increase the Netherlands’ climate ambitions at a great cost to the country’s economy. Meanwhile, Rob Jetten directly attacked Yesilgoz’s VVD, stating that his party was not dealing with the asylum crisis at all but was instead facing a crisis of leadership due to its failure to address criminal asylum seekers being returned to their country faster or refugees being released from overcrowded asylum centers.
Despite these differences, however, there seemed to be consensus among the parties on one topic: housing. Each leader emphasized that post-election efforts would need to be made to boost construction in order for the country to meet its housing needs effectively.